PT - JOURNAL ARTICLE AU - Taylor, Larry D. AU - O’Dea, Aaron AU - Bralower, Timothy J. AU - Finnegan, Seth TI - Isotopes from fossil coronulid barnacle shells record evidence of migration in multiple Pleistocene whale populations AID - 10.1073/pnas.1808759116 DP - 2019 Apr 09 TA - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences PG - 7377--7381 VI - 116 IP - 15 4099 - //www.hmclip.net/content/116/15/7377.short 4100 - //www.hmclip.net/content/116/15/7377.full SO - Proc Natl Acad Sci USA2019 Apr 09; 116 AB - Migration has long been hypothesized to have played a critical role in baleen whale evolution, but fossil constraints on the history of migration are sparse. Here we provide evidence that the oxygen isotope composition of modern whale barnacle shells reliably records migration pathways. We also analyze fossil whale barnacle shells from three Pleistocene localities and show that they display isotope profiles similar to those of modern specimens. Our results indicate the presence of migration among all three ancient whale populations studied and point to the possibility of reconstructing changes in migratory behaviors from the Pliocene to the present.Migration is an integral feature of modern mysticete whale ecology, and the demands of migration may have played a key role in shaping mysticete evolutionary history. Constraining when migration became established and assessing how it has changed through time may yield valuable insight into the evolution of mysticete whales and the oceans in which they lived. However, there are currently few data which directly assess prehistoric mysticete migrations. Here we show that calcite δ18O profiles of two species of modern whale barnacles (coronulids) accurately reflect the known migration routes of their host whales. We then analyze well-preserved fossil coronulids from three different locations along the eastern Pacific coast, finding that δ18O profiles from these fossils exhibit trends and ranges similar to modern specimens. Our results demonstrate that migration is an ancient behavior within the humpback and gray whale lineages and that multiple Pleistocene populations were undertaking migrations of an extent similar to those of the present day.
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