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Three Foxes (A Camera Trap Post)

So here is a post based on what the blog is named after, a camera trap in Cornwall. I had a lot of chicken pieces left over from dinner and...

Monday, 23 January 2012

The Orca - Dolphin Not Whale (A Rant)

Bit of a rant this post on orcas. First the background.

For those of you in the U.K you may be familiar with the series earthflight. It features some amazing camerawork flying with birds around the world. The only downside is the presenter, David Tennant, of doctor who fame. He constantly sounds bored and has an accent that is sometimes hard to understand. It sounds as if he has been forced to read the script. anyway a trailer can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqCD2RCgq28

Last weeks episode featured on South America. It was a great episode with stunning macaws and giant condors. The program also shows other species which are not birds but theses are not the main focus. This episode featured tapir jaguar and orca.

The program showed the orca which beach in Patagonia to capture sealion. This is the top of my list to see incidently. I was watching the episode with my mother who has become a keen naturalist and is at the stage where she has got past the initial learning and is able to learn alot more. I asked her if she knew what an orca was and she said a whale, which most people would. I explained to her how it was infact the largest species of dolphin. She then said "but its called a killer whale". Before I could explain why Doctor who referred to them as a species of whale. My mother then said they must be whale, he said so. If he had referred to them as killer whale but no a species of whale.

trials of life beach scene. 
After the show I explained to my mother the name came from the fact Orcas kill whales such as the grey whale. Due to the size and people mishearing the name they became killer whales instead of whale killers.

Its bad that the BBC can mis-inform people not in the know. They should give across the correct information. I wonder what else has been given out which is incorrect by the BBC.

Bit of a rant this post but as a zoologist and wildlife educator I think people should know the correct facts so an orca or killer whale is a dolphin not a whale. It is the largest dolphin species and the most widespread mammal after us humans.