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Shrinking giants: North Atlantic right whales getting tinier

Shrinking Whales
Posted at 11:40 AM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 11:40:10-04

(AP) — A new study says the hulking giants of the deep, North Atlantic right whales, are on average about three feet shorter than just 20 years ago.

Thursday's study says the critically endangered whales are shrinking because of the stress of getting tangled in fishing gear, crashing into ships and climate change moving their food supply north.

There are only 356 of the whales left. Scientists say their smaller size is a big deal because it reduces their ability to reproduce.

Full-grown North Atlantic right whales used to average 46 feet. Now the younger generation is on track to not quite average 43 feet.