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New study shows whales can get sunburn

November 10, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Scientists report that some whales are getting sunburned.The huge creatures have to surface often to breathe and socialize. They don't have fur or feathers, so they're basically sun-bathing naked.

Photographs of whales off the coast of Mexico show some have skin lesions.

A new study reports that whale skin samples show patterns of dead cells linked to sun damage. Lighter-skinned whales have the most damage.

Scientists think the thinning ozone layer is allowing more of the sun's UV rays to burn the whales.