Subject: Re: food chain of killer whale

Phil Clapham (phillip.clapham@noaa.gov)
Fri, 08 Jan 1999 09:09:33 -0500

Hi:

Killer whales are found all over the world, from very high latitudes
(even Arctic waters) down to the tropics.  They're a pretty good
candidate for the highest predator in the entire marine ecosystem, since
nothing, but nothing, messes with a killer whale!

Killer whales come in at least two types.  These have been called
"residents" and "transients", although the names aren't very accurate in
describing them (but they've now stuck).  Residents eat largely fish
(such as salmon), while transients prey on marine mammals such as seals,
porpoises, dolphins and occasionally even large whales.  The two types
are very different in more ways than just their eating habits.  Even
though they look very similar to each other, they almost never
associate, they seem to have somewhat different social systems and they
are genetically quite different.  many scientists think that they're
going through a process called "speciation", which is when animals
become two different species.

Good luck with your project!

Phil Clapham

Rperras57@aol.com wrote:
> 
> I am in fourth grade and am doing a project on the food chain of the killer
> whale. If you have any information on this subject it would be greatly
> appreciated. THANK YOU,RJP

-- 



Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D.
Northeast Fisheries Science Center
166 Water Street
Woods Hole, MA 02543

tel (508) 495-2316
fax (508) 495-2066
Internet: phillip.clapham@noaa.gov