Chapter

The Natural History and Ecology of Killer Whales

LANCE G. BARRETT-LENNARD and KATHY A. HEISE

in Whales, Whaling, and Ocean Ecosystems

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780520248847
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933200 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520248847.003.0013
The Natural History and Ecology of Killer Whales

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter notes that evidence of the behavioral versatility of killer whales is provided by the wide variety of foraging methods they employ throughout their cosmopolitan range; the correspondingly diverse set of prey species they are known to feed on; the different types of social systems that characterize different populations, interpopulational and in some cases intrapopulational variation in their use of acoustic signals for communication and echolocation, and their well-known ability to learn complex and novel behaviors in captivity. Yet, a predominant feature of killer whales is their conservative nature—they are less innovative than one might expect of a large-brained, socially, and behaviorally sophisticated animal.

Keywords: killer whale behavior; foraging methods; social systems; echolocation; social animal

Chapter.  9556 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aquatic Biology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.