Clash of Cultures among Orcas

This article fascinated me. I have yet to see the “southern residents” even though they’re in my neck of the woods. I was only aware of a little about them before reading this information-dense article. The clash of cultures between the southern residents and transients seemed very human-like. I am also fascinated to see whether the southern residents eventually change cultures or begin to mate with transients out of necessity or proximity - perhaps this won’t happen in our lifetimes.

I was wondering if anyone was aware of any other animals that are the same species but yet have different cultures while living in close proximity.

Granny and her kin are considered part of the same species as transient killer whales, Orcinus orca . But residents and transients have lived separate lives for at least a quarter-million years. They generally do their best to avoid each other, and they don’t even speak the same language—the patterns and sounds they use to communicate are completely different. Over time, each type has established cultural traditions that are passed from generation to generation. While transients’ small groups enable them to hunt more quietly and effectively, residents’ large extended families allow them to work together to locate and forage for fish. Biology isn’t destiny, but for orcas, food sources might be.


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