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Welcome to the orcasphere! The orcasphere is a virtual collaborative space inspired by the Southern Resident Killer Whale Symposium held in Seattle, Washington, from April 3-5, 2006. The Symposium was an intellectual exchange between scientists, policy makers, managers, industry representatives, and the general public. Participants shared multidisciplinary, multinational insights into the natural history of the [...]

Orcinus orca: our neighbors with fins


The context: The best kept secret in all civilizations is that we are animals! We are medium-sized mammals, who just happen to have evolved the ability and the need to construct vast symbolic systems to define ourselves, and now we can’t see our way out of our own systems, so we fight each other to [...]

Southern resident “ceremony” 10/4/05 (video, photos)


One of the most remarkable behaviors of the southern residents is the “greeting ceremony” in which two groups of orcas line up facing each other and then mingle together. This article describes a similar “ceremony” acoustically and visually (video; photo gallery), and then discusses whether it may have been related to a “greeting,” a “goodbye,” [...]

NOAA synopsis of 2006 SRKW symposium


The following synopsis of the 2006 SRKW symposium was published on April 08, 2006, at the web site of the NOAA Fisheries Service (Northwest Fisheries Science Center, author unknown): “The Center kicked off the 75th anniversary of the Montlake laboratory with an international orca symposium on April 3-5. “Southern resident killer whales are the most [...]

Brad Hanson on orca diet


Monster Jam, Brad Hanson, 07/04/05 Diet of southern resident killer whales Inferences from prey samples and sensors deployed on killer whales Time-depth-recorder deployments in southern residents Baird and Hansen+? (2005) J Canadian Zoology 40 deployments from 1993-2002 ~10.5 minutes median record duration L87 Haro Strait example record: 2 dives to 100m with velocity spikes near [...]