The world’s oldest killer whale is believed to be dead [2017/01/18 11:06]

The worlds oldest known killer whale is missing and presumed dead.

The whale - named J2, though she was affectionally nicknamed Granny - was estimated to be more than 100 years old, BBC News reported. She was the star of a recent BBC documentary that chronicled biologists study of her family of orcas, in order to look into female whales menopause.

Only three mammals experience menopause - orcas, short-finned pilot whales and humans. The orcas, including Granny, have been the subject of a four-decade-long study from the Center for Whale Research in Friday Harbor, Washington.

The center said Granny was last seen on October 12, 2016, as she swam north ahead of others in her clan. As of the end of the year, she was considered missing from the area’s killer whale population and is now officially considered deceased.

The research will continue, though, without the studys most famous participant. “It was inevitable that this day was going to come, but it is very sad news,” researcher Darren Croft of the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom told BBC News.

The number of whales in the population is estimated to be just 78 orcas, as of the end of 2016, according to the BBC. Thats in part due to the fact that the number of salmon, which the whales feed on, is shrinking in the region.

*killer whale 범고래 *affectionally 다정하게, 애정을 가지고 *estimate 추정하다 *missing 사라진 *presume 추정하다, 생각하다 *chronicle (연대순으로)기록하다 *mammal 포유류 *experience 경험하다 *menopause 폐경기 *orcas 범고래 *short-finned pilot whales 짧은 지느러미 둥근머리 돌고래 *subject 연구대상 *decade 10년 *clan 무리 *consider ~으로 여기다 *deceased 사망한 *population 개체수, 인구 *officially 공식적으로 *participant 참가자 *inevitable 불가피한 *due to ~때문에 *salmon 연어 *shrink 줄어들다 *region 지역
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