Off the coast of the United States, a new type of killer whale that hunts large sea mammals, even newborn grey whales, has been found.
According to recent data published in June 2021 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Canadian researchers discovered a new, enigmatic type of killer whale that kills huge mammals and favors hunting in deep-water canyons in the Pacific rather than along the coast.
According to Josh McInnes of the University of British Columbia, these “outer coast transient whales” are thought to be a subgroup of transient orcas known as Bigg’s killer whales.
These whales, however, live mostly in the continental shelf off the coast of California, according to McInnes.
Their distinct vocal dialect is different from other transient orcas in the Pacific Northwest’s coastal waters, which is believed to allow them to be heard above the low noise of offshore winds, said McInnes.
Killer whales are classed as a single type in the Southern Hemisphere, with kinds A through C, but this new one is known as sub-antarctic killer whales or type D.
According to researchers, killer whales were believed to be discovered from “Southeast Alaska to Southern California and belonged to a single west coast population,” according to researchers.
The majority of the new killer whales were sighted in the offshore areas between Oregon and central California, according to experts who analyzed over 100,000 photos captured off the Canadian and U.S. west coasts between 2006 and 2019.
Also, twenty-six of them were discovered off the coast of Vancouver Island, according to Daily Mail.
According to McInnes, they are thought to be “big whale hunters” that attack gray whale calves. “It’s very, very complex and exciting, and we’re just starting to scratch the surface,” he added, according to New York Post.
Coastal and outer-coast transient whales were previously thought to be part of a unified population. Still, a new study reveals they may be a mix of different pocket groups, each with particular customs.
Even when the whales are separated by thousands of kilometers, they communicate via sophisticated clicks and singing.
Particular pulsing sounds with vocal features unique to a group is referred to as a dialect. Whales that are strongly linked or dwell together share the same dialect.
Clicks are utilized chiefly for orientation and recognizing things in the habitat, such as food. However, they are also employed for social connections.
Scientists believed that primates, birds, elephants, dolphins, and seals were the only animals capable of imitating human voices before this study.
The whale’s ability to make these sounds demonstrates its ability to learn sounds through imitation and let us know about their lives in nature.