Giant Whales Have Super-Stretchy Nerves

“Hey, look at this,” said Bob Shadwick. He and his team were working on the dissected remains of a fin whale, the second largest animal on the planet, when they noticed a white cord-like structure lying against a slab of muscle. Shadwick picked it up and jokingly stretched it. “It was like a bungee cord,” recalls A. Wayne Vogl who was part of the group. It extended to more than twice its original length before recoiling back.

The team initially thought it was a blood vessel, but they soon realised that it wasn’t hollow. They looked closer and noticed that it had a yellowish central core, ...

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