Subject: Re: "Killer" Whales

Dr. Cathy Schaeff (
Fri, 10 Oct 1997 15:58:39 +0000

> With the recent footage depicting a Killer Whale attacking a
> shark - some friends and I have engaged in an argument. I maintain that
> "Killer Whales" are closer in species to Dolphins than Whales.  Could you
> please confirm whether or not the term Killer Whale in mearly a
> description or are Orcas members of the Whale species.
> Much thanks, Matt Sousa

Matt, you are correct -- orcas are more closely related to dolphins than
to other whales!  Cathy Schaeff
Dr. Cathy Schaeff
Biology Department 
American University
4400 Mass. Ave. N.W. 
Washington D.C. 20016-8007
(202) 885-2175 (phone)
(202) 885-2182 (fax) (email)