October 15, 2010 | David F. Coppedge

Migrating Whales Fertilize the Sea

Two recent discoveries about whales show them to be not only benign but beneficial.  PhysOrg reported on work at the University of Vermont that indicates whale waste carries nitrogen nutrients to the depths of the ocean, fertilizing the food chain and increasing the production of ocean fisheries.
    In another article on PhysOrg, a humpback whale has broken the distance record for any mammal.  A female photographed off Brazil in 1999 was found at Madagascar two years later – having traveled 6,125 miles.  She probably did a whale of a job fertilizing the sea en route.  And if their theory that she was in search of a mate is true, we can add faithful love to the whale’s growing list of admirable qualities.

The largest animals that have ever lived on this planet are useful as well as ornamental, valuable as well as voluminous, constructive as well as well constructed.  Thank God for whales.  How did the oceans ever survive before that first cow sprouted flippers and took to the sea?  Just kidding.  (They’re not.)
    If humans are mammals, maybe they should be included in the contest.  The Apostle Paul, for instance, is said to have walked and sailed some 13,500 miles on his missionary journeys.  If airplanes count, the average American business executive with Far East connections blows whales out of the water in his annual migrations.  Well, are we part of nature or not?  And why aren’t the whales keeping records on the humans?

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