[MARMAM] New paper on Antarctic killer whales

Paula Olson paula.olson at noaa.gov
Sat Jun 16 01:02:52 PDT 2012


A new paper on Antarctic killer whales has been published in the Journal of
Cetacean Research and Management:

Observations of killer whales off East Antarctica, 82°-95°E, in 2009. 2012.
Olson, P.A., Ensor, P., and Kuningas, S. *J. Cetacean Res. Manage*. 12(1):
61-64.

ABSTRACT
Observations of killer whales (*Orcinus orca*) during a survey off east
Antarctica, 082° - 095°E revealed previously undescribed variations in
pigmentation and group associations. During the survey 24 killer whale
groups were sighted south of 60°S and classified, when possible, to Types
A, B, or C (Pitman and Ensor 2003) based on their external morphology.
Sufficient observation was available for nine groups to be classified: 2
groups of Type A; 1 mixed group of Type A and Type B; 3 groups of Type C;
and 3 groups with eyepatch pigmentation intermediate in size between Types
B and C. These whales may represent an intergrade between Types B and C or
a previously unrecognized form. One of the 'intermediate' groups was
observed feeding in a multi-species aggregation with other cetaceans in
deep water. Clearly distinguishable Type A and Type B whales were observed
feeding together in a mixed aggregation, the first time that this has been
documented.
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