DNA Sheds Light on Rare Killer Whale Type
by Megan Gannon
Scientists have long suspected that the killer whale, Orcinus orca, may actually be four different species or subspecies based of subtle differences in appearance and variations in behavior. The rarest of them all is known as type D. These fat-headed orcas, marked by tiny white patches around their eyes, were only recently observed in the wild, some 50 years after they were first identified in photographs from a mass stranding in New Zealand.
The skeleton of one of the type D whales that washed ashore in 1955 ended up at a museum in Wellington. In a new study, scientists analyzed DNA from the bones, showing, yes, type D is likely a distinct subspecies or species. The research, detailed in the journal Polar Biology, also suggests type D diverged from other killer whales about 390,000 years ago, making it the second oldest orca type…
(read more: Live Science)                    (image: Shutterstock)

DNA Sheds Light on Rare Killer Whale Type

by Megan Gannon

Scientists have long suspected that the killer whale, Orcinus orca, may actually be four different species or subspecies based of subtle differences in appearance and variations in behavior. The rarest of them all is known as type D. These fat-headed orcas, marked by tiny white patches around their eyes, were only recently observed in the wild, some 50 years after they were first identified in photographs from a mass stranding in New Zealand.

The skeleton of one of the type D whales that washed ashore in 1955 ended up at a museum in Wellington. In a new study, scientists analyzed DNA from the bones, showing, yes, type D is likely a distinct subspecies or species. The research, detailed in the journal Polar Biology, also suggests type D diverged from other killer whales about 390,000 years ago, making it the second oldest orca type…

(read more: Live Science)                    (image: Shutterstock)

  1. alidbm reblogged this from mad-as-a-marine-biologist
  2. cottoncandybuns reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  3. sensualwitch reblogged this from morganathewitch
  4. morganathewitch reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  5. aucolai reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  6. helias01 reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  7. pretendpsychiatrist reblogged this from thenewenlightenmentage
  8. i-fry-water reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  9. chilope reblogged this from biologyweeps
  10. biologyweeps reblogged this from rhamphotheca and added:
    130 followers, have some science on genetics, evolution and orcas (because I really really like orcas)
  11. heart-full-of-napalm reblogged this from thenewenlightenmentage
  12. bloodfestbutterfly reblogged this from azureamaryllis
  13. lastalienstanding reblogged this from thenewenlightenmentage
  14. eccentricintexas reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  15. azureamaryllis reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  16. mooncat-meow-meow reblogged this from thenewenlightenmentage
  17. geniusdreaming reblogged this from andromedas-daughter