Science Today: Whale Lice | California Academy of Sciences

it’s probably how sailors sold outim whales were like oh whale lice kind of like human lice well lice aren’t related to human lice whale lice are actually crustaceans they’re not insects arachnids like you might expect scientists call them amphipods and most amphipods are flattened from the sides but whale lice are flattened top and bottom which you know when you think about it makes sense if you kind of hold onto a fast-moving whale you kind of want to have a lower profile and they kind of just feed on the skin and living any sort of crevice that they can get ahold of so any kind of calloused parts on their head in the armpit of the flipper and in the genital area anywhere there’s a crease where they can really get a good footing there’s over 30 species of whale lice and there’s probably more species of that that we haven’t discovered yet we’re still finding more and it’s kind of hard to find these if they live of whales you have to find a whale to begin with so they’re pretty tricky critters to study they also get on to smaller cetaceans like dolphins for the most part particular species of whale louse this only on one species of whale partly because most crustaceans have a planktonic stage when they’re larvae but whale lice don’t have that they live entirely on the whale and never leave the way unless there’s whales nursing or things like that is how that lice spread between whales and it’s even a little bit odd er than that and that there are only certain species of whale lice that live on for example male sperm whales and the female sperm whales have another species so it’s I don’t understand that one to be honest with you sometimes the lice are still live on a freshly dead whale they won’t feed on us because they’re symbiotic with the whales but it’s a little creepy to have them attached to your fingers you you

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21 thoughts on “Science Today: Whale Lice | California Academy of Sciences

  1. What happens when a whale mates with another whale that has been around the block. Some of their Whale Lice get on you, then they have to call all their partners.

  2. The scientist at the very end says that lice won't feed on humans because they are "symbiotes with the whales"… but what possible benefit can whales gain from this relationship?

  3. How long before they realize crabs are just spiders that live in water… And these are indeed live that also breath and live in water.

    It's just adaptation to a more matter dense environment.

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