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UVM Whale Research Captures Worldwide Attention, from Science to The Week

Research by conservation biologist Joe Roman and his team, showing that whales essentially serve as ocean ecosystem engineers, has been covered around the world as it contradicts popular ideas about the giant creatures depleting resources as their numbers rebound. The study, published in the online edition of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, explains that baleen and sperm whales eat many fish and invertebrates and eventually, through their feces, distribute their nutrients throughout the water. Even their carcasses are hugely valuable, explains Science, with “so-called whale fall of a 40-ton gray whale provides a boost of carbon to the seafloor community equivalent to more than 2000 years of normal detritus and nutrient cycling.” Read the story...