Talk:Killer whale

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Evolution[edit]

The evolution of the sympatric speciation events is an important part of the killer whale's history. There is strong evidence that historically the Earth’s killer whale population went through a severe genetic bottleneck around 145,000 to 200,000 years ago.[1] It is predicted that this bottleneck event occurred as a result of some sort of drastic weather and/or climate change. However the speciation of the killer whales has proved to have preserved a large amount of the variability in the mitochondrial DNA within populations globally—which is unusual following a bottleneck event. The speciation is also supported by the geographical findings in the last few decades in which both the transient and residential ecotypes have been spotted in the same regions of the world in which most of these populations are found in residence near the Pacific waters and off the coast of Alaska. Despite their being within close proximity of one another, the varying diets between the transient and residential killer whale populations has since decreased the need to compete for resources and therefore almost eliminates the need to interact with the other population. This also enhances the speciation even more so because of limited interaction. In the social context of killer whales, continuing the use of vocal sounds between pods has helped maintain the concept of staying within one’s own pod. This proves the successful avoidance of excessive inbreeding in the natal pods. The separation of natal pods in general also strengthens the speciation event. Individuals more like one another, but not genetically identical, are kept closer together and are more likely to remain there thus creating a social separation between subspecies.

It is also evident that these separate subspecies have begun to diverge into even smaller subgroups based on genetic differences as well. [2]This indicates that there is enough genetic similarities between subspecies to allow for further unique patterns to emerge in these smaller subgroups. Gravelle.8111 (talk) 00:33, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  1. ^ Morin, P. A., F. I. Archer, A. D. Foote, J. Vilstrup, E. E. Allen, P. Wade, J. Durban, K. Parsons, R. Pitman, L. Li, P. Bouffard, S. C. Abel Nielsen, M. Rasmussen, E. Willerslev, M. T. P. Gilbert, and T. Harkins. Complete Mitochondrial Genome Phylogeographic Analysis of Killer Whales (Orcinus Orca) Indicates Multiple Species. Genome Research 20.7 (2010): 908-16. Pub Med Central.
  2. ^ Barrett-Lennard, Lance. Population Structure and Mating Patterns of Killer Whales (Orcinus Orca) As Revelaed By DNA Analysis. (2000): 40-55. University of British Columbia.

Bite force[edit]

Some says stronger bite than saltwater crocodile but some said not measured?

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Spinosaurus75 (Dinosaur Fan) (talkcontribs) 13:25, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 28 May 2015[edit]

This is a request to add the following citation to support the sentence "Females breed until age 40":

Quantifying the effects of prey abundance on killer whale reproduction Eric J. Ward, Elizabeth E. Holmes and Ken C. Balcomb Journal of Applied Ecology 2009, 46, 632–640 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01647.x

available at: https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/protectedresources/whales/killerwhales/articles/ward_holmes_balcomb_preyabundance09.pdf

74.71.10.7 (talk) 04:05, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Done. Greedo8 19:55, 2 June 2015 (UTC)


Requested move 19 June 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved Mike Cline (talk) 12:57, 27 June 2015 (UTC)



Killer whaleOrca – I am aware of the previous name dispute in 2009, where the long-standing (2003-2009) consensus regarding the article's name Orca was abandoned. Regardless of the controversial conclusion drawn from responses at the time, I'm more concerned with the faulty reason that called for the move. One certain source was repeatedly worshiped as the source we should always follow; appealing to a higher authority instead of relying on Wikipedia's WP:COMMONNAME. I do not have moral objections to either name. Merely practical ones.

Why a move is necessary[edit]

  • Recognizability – Google Scholar shows overwhelmingly that Killer Whale was the standard in scientific journals from 1970-1999, where some might think we should draw the article name from. And yet clearly this heavily used archaic term has been replaced by a modern common name that everyone can understand. Orca is by far the most recognizable name.
  • Naturalness – Google Trends show the uncontested popularity of Orca. The sole spike in killer whale was in 2010 when an incident occurred wherein a female trainer [killed by an orca].
  • Precision – I believe it goes without saying that while "a killer whale" could be used to refer to any dangerous whale–..or is it a dolphin? This name will only cause more disputes–the term "orca" is entirely unambiguous and neutral.
  • Conciseness – "Orca" is no longer than necessary to identify the article's subject and distinguish it from other subjects.

Last and least, The scientific term is Orcinus orca, not the far more simple Orca.
Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 23:48, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

  • Support. Simplicity. Shhhhwwww!! (talk) 02:33, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Regretfully oppose. Much as I prefer the name orca, it fails our core naming criterion: which name is more common in reliable sources? The answer in this case is killer whale. Searching Google Scholar for "orcas are" (to filter out uses of the scientific name and various acronyms) since 2000 only gives 321 results, while "killer whales are" gives 1,350. Similarly, a Google n-gram comparison of the two terms shows a clear, though diminishing, preference for killer whales. On the other hand, a Google News search (which I won't link because I'm getting lazy now) shows the opposite, much as the Google Trends data you cited does. However, I think that for a biology topic like this, books and scientific journals are a much better guide than news articles.
You paint a very stark contrast when you say that killer whale is an "archaic term", while orca is a "modern common name that everyone can understand". If that were true, so much the better (as I said, I personally prefer orca). But the evidence strongly suggests it's not.—Neil P. Quinn (talk) 03:56, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose WP:UCN, WP:JARGON ; the common name has been "killer whale" for as long as I can remember, it's the way the way it's also been taught to schoolchildren. If you want to use a singular exception to COMMONNAME, then you should as for a WP:IAR; but you are asking to overturn COMMONNAME instead, and that you cannot do with a single move request, you must do an WP:RFC at WP:COMMONNAME to get rid of it. -- 70.51.203.69 (talk) 06:04, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:TITLECHANGES - "If an article title has been stable for a long time, and there is no good reason to change it, it should not be changed". And that's the end of that. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 09:27, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Neil P. Quinn. The Scholar search and Ngram show that sources favor "killer whale" over "orca". Dohn joe (talk) 13:52, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose also per WP:TITLECHANGES.--Mr Fink (talk) 14:03, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
    • further comment: Also, the reason given under "Precision" ignores the etymology of "killer whale" in that it is a direct translation of the Spanish name, "ballena asesina," which directly describes the animal's habit of hunting, killing and eating other whales; a behavior that humans have been observing in this animal for literally thousands of years. That, and I don't see how "orca" is any more neutral than "killer whale," given as how "orca" is derived from a word meaning "sea monster." As for the argument of "is it a whale or a dolphin?" Really? Do we really, really, really need to go there?--Mr Fink (talk) 14:16, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose – The common name is clear, and "orca" strikes me as a foreignism. Let's stick with English words, please. RGloucester 15:40, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose – "killer whale" is "archaic"? Get out of the house a bit more, maybe cool it with the cetacean research journals. ¡Bozzio! 19:03, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
  • weak support Ngrams are pretty even. I wouldn't have any issue with the title if Orcas were whales and not a variety of dolphin. I would have given more than weak support if Britnnica, Inc. hadn't used "killer whale" GregKaye 22:08, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Dolphins are toothed whales, and "killer whale" is the most common English name for O. orca. There is also false killer whale, pygmy killer whale, and pilot whale, all of which are dolphins. Editor abcdef (talk) 01:05, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
comment: And we can not call those species "false orca," "pygmy orca," or "pilot dolphin" without egregious original research synthesis.--Mr Fink (talk) 03:33, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The most common name is "killer whale", and the much of the push for "orca" comes from people who think that it's somehow bad to refer to one of the most efficient carnivores on the planet as a "killer". Luckily that's not the standard for article titles. 209.211.131.181 (talk) 05:39, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Sympathetic neutral - I get what you're saying, and I love me a good concise title, but WP:RECOGNIZABLE is policy, too. Red Slash 18:43, 22 June 2015 (UTC)



The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.