Orca "two cultures" support?

Michael M. Butler (butler@comp*lib.org)
Wed, 08 Oct 1997 05:57:27 -0700

I am looking for substantiation of something I've heard that may turn out
to be a "hundred monkeys" fabrication. On the other hand, if true, I think
it may have a bearing on my research into history and moral philosophy.
Details available after I've done more homework...

The story goes that there are two cultures of killer whale, genetically
indistinguishable (i.e., one species) but with no cross-breeding evident:
the pelagic, ocean-roaming, husky-eating, kayak-tipping "wolf pack" variety
and the Puget-Sound-local, salmon-eating, laid-back "Shamu" variety.
Allegedly, they speak two *different "languages"*, too.

Can anyone here tell me how controversial this notion is among ethologists
and marine biologists?
Is it generally accepted? Is it thoroughly discredited? Who espoused it?;
who shot it full of holes?
Is it just an "urban legend"? I crave facts and cites. Tomorrow I'll start
digging in earnest--but tonight, I thought I'd cast my question to this
eclectic bunch...


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