50 years in the past, scientists thought a desert shrub would possibly assist save endangered whales

50 years in the past, scientists thought a desert shrub would possibly assist save endangered whales

Shrub could save the sperm whale – Science Information, March 25, 1972

Cover of the March 25, 1972 issue of Science News

The sperm whale is an endangered species. A significant purpose is that the whale oil is heat-resistant and chemically and bodily steady. This makes it helpful for lubricating delicate equipment. The one substitute is dear carnauba wax from the leaves of palm bushes that develop solely in Brazil … [but] wax from the seeds of the jojoba, an evergreen desert shrub, is almost nearly as good.

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After sperm whale oil was banned within the early Nineteen Seventies, the USA sought to replenish its reserves with eco-friendly oil from jojoba seeds (SN: 5/17/75, p. 335). Jojoba oil’s chemical construction is almost an identical to that of sperm whale oil, and the shrub is native to some North American desert ecosystems, making the plant an interesting substitute. As we speak, jojoba shrubs are cultivated world wide on nearly each continent. Jojoba oil is utilized in a whole bunch of merchandise, together with cosmetics, prescription drugs, adhesives and lubricants. In the meantime, sperm whale populations have began to get well beneath worldwide anti-whaling agreements (SN: 2/27/21, p. 4).