>I'm doing a school project on the Northwest Atlantic Marine ecozone
>and I have a few un-answered questions about whale migration. I looked
>through some of the already answered questions but something is just
>nagging at my mind.
>Waters freeze over in the Northwest Atlantic Marine so, do the whales
>migrate north on the earth's magnetic field where there is open water?
>How do they get their air if there's ice on top?
>Thanks for your time!
>Grade 9 Student, Ontario, Canada
There have been theories that whales have magnetite receptors in their
brains that are sensitive to the earth's magnetic field and help guide
their migrations. I believe the evidence is weak that such is the case
however. More likely to me is that the knowledge of where the ice is too
thick to be safe is handed down over the generations. In other words, the
migratory whales travel to places that are traditional feeding, calving and
traveling routes for their communities. In some cases they still may have
to break through a few inches of ice to breathe now and then.
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