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Volume 599 Issue 7883, 4 November 2021
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Volume 599 Issue 7883, 4 November 2021

In for the krill

The cover shows a humpback whale lunge-feeding off Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Baleen whales such as this consume vast quantities of prey, but finding out exactly how much has proved to be difficult. In this week’s issue, Matthew Savoca and his colleagues use a combination of tracking whale locations and acoustic measurements of prey density to show that consumption of prey is several times larger than previous estimates have suggested. The researchers also calculate that pre-whaling populations in the Southern Ocean consumed 430 million tonnes of Antarctic krill per year, which suggests that whales could accelerate the recycling of nutrients to a degree that might support a radically different ecosystem under higher whale populations.

Cover image: John Durban and Holly Fearnbach

This Week

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  • Article | | Open Access

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    Cryo-electron microscopy structures of the voltage-gated potassium channel Kv4.2 alone and in complex with auxiliary subunits (DPP6S and/or KChIP1) reveal the distinct mechanisms of these two different subunits in modulating channel activity.

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