Long-Living Whales Shed Light on Menopause

Females see offspring through to maturity
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Feb 3, 2009 4:14 PM CST
A whale travels with her offspring. Scientists say killer whales may explain why women live so long post-menopause.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Stumped scientists finally have a clue about the evolutionary purpose of post-menopausal women. Female killer whales—who outlive males by decades—stick around to nurture their kin through maturity, the Los Angeles Times reports. Similarly, human mamas may stick around to ensure their kids really, truly, don't need them anymore. Older whales, incidentally, are also more adept at raising strong kids.
(Read more evolution stories.)