Blue whales

Climate change could make it harder for blue whales to find food

Baby blue whale nursing captured off the South Coast of Sri Lanka in 2015. Photo: Patrick Dykstra/Barcroft Images

Blue whales, which are the largest creatures on Earth, rely on their memory of productive foraging sites in order to seek out prey.

Why it matters: This insight, which comes from a new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, helps explain how these oceanic behemoths can reach such massive sizes. It also identifies a vulnerability that could challenge the species as warming and acidifying waters cause fish to shift in abundance and range, making historical knowledge less useful to the emerging reality.

Giants of the deep, blue whales are changing their tune

Baby blue whale
A baby blue whale. Photo: Patrick Dykstra/Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Blue whales are changing their tune, according to a new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans.

Why it matters: The global decline in the pitch of whale songs has been a mystery, with chief suspects being the increase in ocean noise from shipping, submarines and underwater resource exploration. The new study, however, suggests other factors may be behind the trend.