Why do whales migrate? They return to the tropics to shed their skin: First suggested for killer whales, skin molt may drive long-distance migration for all whales that forage in cold waters

ScienceDaily | Feb 21, 2020 at 7:12 PM
  • In a research paper in Marine Mammal Science, scientists propose that whales that forage in polar waters migrate to low latitudes to maintain healthy skin.
  • The two lead authors on the study first proposed in 2011 that skin molt could drive the migration for certain Antarctic killer whales.
  • Researchers also photographed newborn killer whale calves in Antarctica, indicating the whales don’t need to migrate to warmer waters to give birth.