Antarctica’s blue whales are split into three distinct populations

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Antarctica’s critically endangered blue whales, the world’s largest animal, are made up of three populations, according to our new DNA analysis.

Although the groups occur together when feeding in Antarctic waters, they are genetically distinct. This suggests that the three groups breed in different locations – possibly even different oceans – when they head north in the winter.

If we can find out where they go, and what hazards they face on the way, we will be a step closer to helping them recover from their near-annihilation by whalers during the 20th century.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
PublisherThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2016


  • Antarctica
  • Blue whales
  • Endangered species
  • DNA analysis
  • population genetics


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