West Coast Whales: One or Two Species? New Study Reveals Hidden Diversity

29th March, 2024


Surprise! Killer whales on the Pacific Coast may be more than meets the eye.

For years, all killer whales have been considered one species. However, new research suggests otherwise.

Scientists have identified distinct differences between two groups: "residents" and "Bigg's" (transient) killer whales.

Residents, known for hunting fish, have smaller dorsal fins and socialize in larger pods.

Bigg's, marine mammal hunters, have larger fins and travel in smaller groups.

Genetic analysis further supports these distinct groups, separated for over 300,000 years!

Understanding their differences helps us better protect these magnificent creatures.

From one to two, the story of the killer whale gets more fascinating