Scientists have recently observed Antarctic killer whales traveling rapidly northward toward the tropics with a mission in mind. They were traveling much too fast and in such a determined way that it is unlikely they were foraging or calving.
New studies have shown that they were migrating toward warmer climates in search of a luxurious spa treatment!
Antarctic killer whales often become coated in an algae that produces a yellowish tint to their naturally white skin. When the whales were observed after their “vacation,” the noticable yellowish tint had been removed, indicating that the first layer of the epidermis had been shed and regenerated.
“They went to the edge of the tropics at high speed, turned around and came straight back to Antarctica, at the onset of winter,” said Robert Pitman, co-author of the study. “The standard feeding or breeding migration does not seem to apply here.”