Scientists at the University of Cambridge have managed to make assumptions hard.
A chunk of whale vomit, amber grey or, in short, amber looks like an ordinary stone from afar. Pick it up, you feel the object is a lot lighter. Amber grey can have different colors and gives with you when you push on it. Moreover, it has a waxy appearance.
And it comes from the interior of a sperm whale, which proves the recent research published in the scientific journal Biology Letters.
Before that, in the lab in Copenhagen, where researchers recently with a piece of chewing gum of 5,700 years old, could expose the entire genome of a woman from the stone age. Not just like that, the amber grey that the scientists studied were also thousands of years old and were found on beaches in the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka. “Suddenly, new techniques are available that allow you to study ancient, and mysterious substances,” said a research leader Ruairidh Macleod.
The result is no surprise: amber grey is indeed production of the intestines of the sperm whale. Only in the past, that was purely an assumption because dead prey animals of the sperm whale were found in amber grey. With the recent research, it has also been scientifically proven. After all, amber grey contains exceptionally well-preserved DNA from the sperm whale.
What the biologists could not prove for the time being was how the amber grey is exactly formed. This requires follow-up research.