(WILDLIFE/ANIMAL SCIENCE) The endangered blue whale’s ear wax could be the key to saving the beloved species. Scientists from Texas have analyzed a 10-foot-long earplug retrieved from a blue whale who passed away due to a collision with a ship off the coast of Santa Barbara, California in 2007. Like a tree’s rings, the ear wax documents the changing levels of hormones within the creature as well as exterior pollutants. It provides researchers with a window into the chemical content of the ocean, hopefully revealing the cause behind the the vast decline of several marine species. With more research, ear wax investigation has the potential to offer substantial hope for whales by unearthing the effects humans have on marine life. Issues like heavy ship traffic and human noise has potentially caused an increase in whale stress levels. Read on to learn the details behind this groundbreaking discovery. — Global Animal

Ear wax retrieved from a blue whale reveals new findings about animal’s exposure to stress and toxins. Photo Credit: Discovery

Read the Los Angeles Times article here: http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-blue-whale-ear-wax-plug-pollutants-hormones-20130916,0,6647217.story

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