For whales, study shows gigantism is in the genes

Will Dunham at Reuters:

The blue, fin, bowhead, gray, humpback, right and sperm whales are the largest animals alive today. In fact, the blue whale is the largest-known creature ever on Earth, topping even the biggest of the dinosaurs.

How did these magnificent marine mammals get so big? A new study explored the genetic underpinnings of gigantism in whales, identifying four genes that appear to have played crucial roles. These genes, the researchers said, helped in fostering great size but also in mitigating related disadvantageous consequences including higher cancer risk and lower reproductive output.

More here.