Subject: The name "killer whale"

Aldemaro Romero (
Mon, 09 Mar 1998 23:12:50 -0500

> Date: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 19:59:02 +0000
> From: Thomaas G Belmore <>
> To: aRomero@ACC.FAU.EDU
> Subject: killer whale
> How did they come to be called killer whale?When was the name given to them and by whom?

Dear Tom:

The name killer whale comes from the fact that this species shows the
distinctive feeding behavior of eating other marine mammals. As for who
came up with that common name, we will never know as for most common
names are given by fishermen and other people who remain "anonymnous" in
history. Some have proposed that this species should be renamed "orca"
in order to eliminate the bloody connotation of its current common name.
After all toothed whales are predators anyway.

Best wishes,

Aldemaro Romero, Ph.D.