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No. 70: Jul-Aug 1990

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Killer Whale Dialects

J. Ford is the curator of marine mammals at Vancouver's Public Aquarium. For years, he has been listening to killer whales converse as they hunt along the coast of the Pacific Northwest. About 350 whales in the area are divided into two communities, each of which is subdivided into several pods. Each pod has its own dialect of sounds used in communication. Some of the dia-lects are regional, like Bostonian or Texan; others are more divergent, like English and Japanese. This discovery promotes killer whales to the level of some primates and harbor seals. Usually, Ford says, the sounds made by animals are determined genetically.

(Dayton, Leigh; "Killer Whales Communicate in Distinct 'Dialects,'" New Scientist, p. 35, March 10, 1990.)

Reference. For more on killer whale communication, see BMT8 in our catalog: Biological Anomalies: Mammals I. To order, visit: here.

From Science Frontiers #70, JUL-AUG 1990. 1990-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987