Observed: Killer whale Orcinus orca
Beelines: Occasionally for the subtropical waters off Uruguay and Brazil, a study documents for the first time. But the trips are so quick they’re probably not for foraging or giving birth. Instead, the trips may be the equivalent of a vacation skin peel.
Returns: Without the coating of algae that tinges its skin yellow. John Durban of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California, and his co-author suggest the orcas travel to milder latitudes when they shed their skin “to help the whales regenerate skin tissue in a warmer environment with less heat loss,” he says.