WHOI Research Looks at Whale Digestion

WOODS HOLE – Research at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has found that millions of tiny microbes inside whales could potentially help the digestion of wax ester lipids.

These fats, which are full of carbon, are difficult for even humans to digest. Tiny crustaceans like krill are full of wax esters.

WHOI discovered that wax esters account for over 80 percent of lipids eaten by bowhead whales. The study suggests that whales can efficiently digest these lipids possibly due to the microbes that live in their digestive tracts.

These microbes include bacteria.

For more information on the study, click here.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the CapeCod.com NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy