Everyone loves a grandma so full of wisdom and kindness (and cookies) and while it seems like we humans are the only ones who have grandmothers, other species of whales and elephants have them as well. A study made by the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences says that older whales are one of the main reasons the young whales are alive. The grandmothers help when food is scarce and when the calves need attention. The rate of surval goes up even more when the grandmother has already gone through menopause, now this is even more surprising because for most animals there life line is cut short once menopause is over but not with humans, short-finned pilot whales, narwhals, belagues, and orcas.
These are the only animals that we know of that go through something like this, but what about the elephants? Well they can have calves till they die but most choose not to when they get to an older age so they can help with caregiving hence why they are not in the list above. The grandmothers will share their food and help babysit as the other orcas go out to hunt, also they know where the best fishing spots are when food gets low. Since they don’t have any more calves they can give more time to her grandchildren because her children know how to defend themselves. They also act as a pod leader, the females can live for over 80 years but males only live to about 30.
The orcas stay in a pod of just their family but will meet up with other pods to socialise, at age 15 they will mate but after they go their separate ways the male will stay with his pod and the female and babies will stay with her pod, and will mate every 6 years after. The grandmother will share up to 90% of the fish she catches because she has no more young to feed and will catch the most. But sadly the Orcas are dying off from over fishing and are running out of food along with the threat of boating, seismic surveys, military sonar, underwater construction, plastic pollution, and contamination. The best way to help these whales is to buy fish that are caught on a line and not by a dragline and reduce, reuse, and recycle.
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