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Killer whale (Orcinus orca) occurrence and predation in the Bahamas

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Charlotte Ann Dunn, Diane Claridge

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Killer whales (Orcinus orca) have a cosmopolitan distribution, yet little is known about populations that inhabit tropical waters. We compiled 34 sightings of killer whales in the Bahamas, recorded from 1913 to 2011. Group sizes were generally
small (mean ¼ 4.2, range ¼ 1–12, SD ¼ 2.6). Thirteen sightings were documented with photographs and/or video of sufficient quality to allow individual photo-identification analysis. Of the 45 whales photographed, 14 unique individual killer whales were identified, eight of which were re-sighted between two and nine times. An adult female (Oo6) and a now-adult male (Oo4), were first seen together in 1995, and have been re-sighted together eight times over a 16-yr period. To date, killer whales in the Bahamas have only been observed preying on marine mammals, including Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis), Fraser’s dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei), pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps) and dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima), all of which are previously unrecorded prey species for Orcinus orca.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Early online date6 Aug 2013
StatePublished - 2013

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