Subject: Re: orca pod

Al Romero (aromero@ACC.FAU.EDU)
Thu, 17 Apr 1997 09:16:09 -0500 (EST)

At 04:10 PM 4/15/97 -0700, you wrote:
>Dr. Romero:
>Could you please inform me how orca whales determine the pod they will
>be with the duration of their lives?
>Thank you very much.
>Sandy
>wbent@digital-cafe.com
>

Dear Sandy:

There is not too much information on this issue. Some have suggested that
many orcas remain in the pod they were born. This may represent a problem
from the genetic viewpoint since new genes from unrelated individuals are
always needed in order to maintain  the gentic diversity and, thus, the
genetic "health" of the group.  Also, it has been observed that smaller pods
may join other pods to form larger pods. It is also possible the existance
of transient males, i.e., males that would join certain pods for short
periods of time since solitary males have been observed.  But, as I said,
there is much yet to be learned on the social behavior of this species.

Your question is an excellent one.

Best wishes,

Aldemaro Romero, Ph.D.		
Florida Atlantic University	(954)236-1125	
College of Liberal Arts		(954)236-1150 (F)
Department of Biology		aromero@acc.fau.edu
2912 College Ave.,
Davie, FL 33314