Ancient whalers altered arctic lakes

9:08am, February 11, 2004

Analyses of sediment and water from an arctic lake indicate that an ancient whaling community left a mark on the lake's ecosystem that persists today, even though the settlement was abandoned centuries ago.

Thule Inuit whalers moved from Alaska to islands in the Canadian Arctic about 1,000 years ago. Their former settlements are easily spotted because whale bones still litter the landscape, says paleoecologist John P. Smol of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

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