Ear wax can also show scientists the quality of the environment the whale swam in. This whale showed two separate spikes in mercury, meaning it probably swam through a polluted patch of ocean for a few months.
<span id="docs-internal-guid-73c9cd43-2cb3-de49-73d3-aef71861392b">Chemicals are also stored in whales' fatty blubber tissue, but that buildup doesn't give researchers any clues as to </span>when the whale was exposed to those chemicals. (Via NPR)
<span id="docs-internal-guid-73c9cd43-2cb3-de49-73d3-aef71861392b">The team is planning to analyze some of the 1,000 or more ear wax specimens in museums around the world. Which is great for science, but </span>really bad for nostrils — apparently they have a quote "pungent fishy smell." Lovely...
The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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