NOAA scientists Kim Parsons & Tom Jefferson on killer whale science, killer whales versus orcas, orcas versus dolphins, how science becomes official, the challenges of translating science to civilians and so much more in the first of a special two-part episode on the two soon to be official species of orcas who call the Salish Sea home.


3:45 Meet marine mammal biologist, Tom Jefferson.

4:21 Meet molecular geneticist, Kim Parsons.

5:10 Orcas or killer whales? And how to pronounce orcinus orca.

6:35 Orcas vs. whales/dolphins vs. Delphinidae and confusion over “common names.”

10:35 Talking taxonomy: splitting orca populations into two species.

12:55 Exploring orca genetics.

17:38 What’s in a name? Taxonomists reviewing splitting up species. And making the species designation official. Ish.

20:10 How to tell the difference between types of orcas.

24:31 Early observations of killer whales and how and why they got their names.

26:16 Naming the two orcas – the scientific names and the names we’ll all use…

Skaana podcasts connect you to news and experts and their discussions about environments, oceans, and orcas.
Tom Jefferson from NOAA.
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