Re: Orca "two cultures" support?
Wed, 8 Oct 1997 13:58:26 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 10/8/97 6:00:07 AM, butler@comp* wrote:

>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...

Sorry I haven't any cites handy, but I've heard that several times from
reputable tertiary scientific sources (Nova, Discover, Scientific American,
that kind of thing). I have always heard it presented as factual and
non-controversial. The only controversial thing above would be the claim
that they speak two different *languages*. Their vocalizations are
distinguishable, but few would claim they have language.