For Orca females, life doesn't end after menopause. Orca females stop reproducing at around 40 years old, and can live to be 90, according to National Geographic. A new study shows that Orca grandmothers dramatically improve the lives of their grandchildren, which may explain why female killer whales have evolved to live decades beyond their reproductive years.

Naturalist and author Sy Montgomery told Boston Public Radio on Monday she believes there are likely other animals who exhibit this behavior but that they just haven't been studied yet.

"The things with the Orcas is they’re under water and harder to study, but this has been going on for as long as Orcas have existed," she said. "The grandparents are the ones who know all the stuff. They’ve been alive — they really know, even in bad salmon years — they know where they might be able to find some, and they also can watch the babies while their mothers can run off and get something to eat and then come back and nurse their calves."

Montgomery said this new revelation may come with a lesson for human pods as well.

"What was really astonishing to me was in this study they found that even when the grandchildren are adults, their chances of survival are higher if the grandmother is still alive and still around, so there’s a lesson, I think, for that in humans, which is keep your grandparents close!"