Killer Whales

The Natural History and Genealogy of Orcinus Orca in British Columbia and Washington State

Informations complémentaires


John K. B. Ford


Univ of British Columbia Pr

Watching killer whales in the wild in British Columbia and Washington State has become a popular recreational activity in the last decade. Nothing quite matches the thrill of witnessing a pod of these immense creatures cutting through the waters of Johnstone Strait or listening to their strident underwater calls to each other in their own dialect.

Because killer whales live at sea and spend most of their time underwater, they have been difficult to observe and study in the wild. In the 1970s, however, the late Michael Bigg and the authors of this book developed a technique that would revolutionize the study of killer whales. By photographing the dorsal fin and grey saddle patch at the base of the fin with their idiosyncratic markings, they found that killer whales could be individually identified and studied over a course of years. As they pursued this line of study into the 1980s and ’90s, they discovered that the killer whale possessed a social life that was richer and more complex than anyone had imagined.

This book presents the results of twenty years of killer whale research in British Columbia and Washington State. The authors are active researchers who are widely regarded as the world’s foremost authorities on killer whales. Their book contains the latest information on killer whale natural history, suggestions on how, when, and where to best watch killer whales, and a catalogue of over 300 photographs of « resident » killer whales which identifies individual whales and their family groups. Intended for both whale enthusiasts and researchers, Killer Whales adds much to our knowledge of this remarkable creature.


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