Subject: Killer whale rostrum

S. Jones (betej@u.washington.edu)
Wed, 29 Jul 1998 19:00:17 -0700 (PDT)

On Tue, 28 Jul 1998, Eric PONCELET wrote:

> Dear Bete Jones,
> 
> Here is the picture of a strange orca (cf. attach), I wonder if this
> "abnormally" blunt rostrum is simply a deformity of one individual or is
> the common profile of a race of killer whale ?
> 
> Thanks a lot,
> 
>           Eric PONCELET
>           E-mail : poncelet@essi.fr
>           Web Site : http://orca.citeweb.net
>           News : news://news.citeweb.net/ctw.science.orca
> 
Dear Eric,
I spoke with Dr. Marylin Dahlheim at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory
today about your picture.  She has seen an orca with a similar looking
rostrum in the North Pacific.  She believes it is not a common profile
of a race of killer whale, but more likely an individual deformity.  This
deformity might significantly affect the health of an individual because
if the teeth do not line up correctly, it could have an impact on the
whale's foraging success.

I hope this information has helped you.

Bete