Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Orcas in Antarctica

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In this video, we are given a look at a pod of Orcas — “killer whales” — Orcinus orca, that live in the Antarctic. I have spent many happy hours in Friday Harbor at the University of Washington’s research station, watching Orcas and talking to the biologists who study them. These biologists were fairly certain that the Friday harbor Orcas are a different subspecies or species from those orcas that live in more open waters, such as the ones you see in this video. The reasons? At the time, they didn’t have DNA data, but they did have hundreds or thousands of hours of behavioral data: range (Friday Harbor Orcas lived close to the coasts and sounds between Washington and Alaska, while oceanic Orcas have much larger ranges) and diet (Friday Harbor Orcas eat only salmon while oceanic Orcas depend upon seals and other marine animals). [6:12]

Comments

  1. #1 Yelli
    July 13, 2009

    You have got my vote. Good luck!

  2. #2 orca whale
    October 20, 2009

    It is very interesting to watch the social interaction of Orcas because they are so smart. Sometimes they get together in Super-pods to have social interactions