The Natural History and Ecology of Killer Whales
This chapter notes that evidence of the behavioral versatility of killer whales is provided by the wide variety of foraging methods they employ throughout their cosmopolitan range; the correspondingly diverse set of prey species they are known to feed on; the different types of social systems that characterize different populations, interpopulational and in some cases intrapopulational variation in their use of acoustic signals for communication and echolocation, and their well-known ability to learn complex and novel behaviors in captivity. Yet, a predominant feature of killer whales is their conservative nature—they are less innovative than one might expect of a large-brained, socially, and behaviorally sophisticated animal.
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