Whales and dolphins have lived through some crazy times

Photo credit: Ansgar Walk

Photo credit: Ansgar Walk

In the last two million years, the earth has gone through many changes. Yet, many whales and dolphins have managed to survive it all. I’m talking ice ages, sea level rise, dramatic shifting of land masses and coastlines. Although, it does seem like it would be easier for fully aquatic animals to adjust to shifting seas levels and changing coastlines compared to land animals adapting to flooding and disappearing land masses.

But still it’s interesting to think about. Can you imagine adapting to extreme changes in temperature? (We may not have to imagine for long.) According to the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, belugas and narwhals used to live in much warmer waters, but now they only live in freezing cold water in the Arctic. Usually that’s not a switch you make by choice. Maybe this means they will survive global warming okay and be able to make the switch back to warmer waters like they were used to 4 million years ago. Only time will tell.

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