Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-xfwgj Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-25T11:20:52.090Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

A comparison of pigmentation features among North Atlantic killer whale (Orcinus orca) populations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 April 2014

Pirjo Mäkeläinen*
Affiliation:
University of Helsinki, Aquatic Sciences, Hydrobiology, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Helsinki, Finland
Ruth Esteban
Affiliation:
CIRCE, Conservation Information and Research on Cetaceans, C/Cabeza de Manzaneda 3, Algeciras-Pelayo, 11390 Cadiz, Spain
Andrew D. Foote
Affiliation:
Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Øster Volgade 5-7, DK-1350 Copenhagen, Denmark
Sanna Kuningas
Affiliation:
Sea Mammal Research Unit, Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9TS, UK
Julius Nielsen
Affiliation:
DTU Aqua, Jægersborg Allé 1, 2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark
Filipa I.P. Samarra
Affiliation:
Sea Mammal Research Unit, Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9TS, UK Marine Research Institute, Skulagata 4, PO Box 1390, 121 Reykjavík, Iceland
Tiu Similä
Affiliation:
Wild Idea, Box 181, 8465 Straumsjøen, Norway
Nienke C.F. van Geel
Affiliation:
Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, 28 Main Street, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, PA75 6NU, UK
Gíslia A. Víkingsson
Affiliation:
Marine Research Institute, Skulagata 4, PO Box 1390, 121 Reykjavík, Iceland
*
Correspondence should be addressed to: P. Mäkeläinen, Seulastentie 12 C, 00740 Helsinki, Finland email: pirjo.makelainen@saunalahti.fi

Abstract

Here we present a comparison of saddle and eye patch patterns of killer whales from Norwegian, Icelandic, British, Spanish and Greenlandic waters. We found only a small amount of variation in saddle patch shapes, which may reflect a recent phylogenetic divergence from the most recent common ancestor. Eye patch shapes were more variable than saddle patches in small details. Most individuals had eye patches with parallel orientation, with the exception of a small group of killer whales from the Hebrides, which, as previously reported, had sloping eye patches that sloped downward at the posterior end. This differentiation in pigmentation patterns of the Hebridean killer whales from neighbouring populations could reflect one or more of several evolutionary processes, including a deeper phylogenetic divergence, low gene flow with other local populations and drift.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2014 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

REFERENCES

Baird, R.W. and Stacey, P.J. (1988) Variation in saddle patch pigmentation in popuations of killer whales (Orcinus orca) from British Columbia, Alaska, and Washington State. Canadian Journal of Zoology 66, 25822585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barton, N.H. and Charlesworth, B. (1984) Genetic revolutions, founder effects, and speciation. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 15, 133164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barton, N. (1996) Natural selection and random genetic drift as causes of evolution on islands. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B; Biological Sciences 351, 785795.Google ScholarPubMed
Beck, S., Kötter, S., Foote, A.D., Harries, O., Mandleberg, L., Stevick, P.T., Whooley, P. and Durban, J.W. (2013) Using opportunistic photo-identifications to detect a population decline of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in British and Irish waters. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 93. doi:10.1017/S0025315413001124.Google Scholar
Beck, S., Kuningas, S., Esteban, R. and Foote, A.D. (2012) The influence of ecology on sociality in the killer whale (Orcinus orca). Behavioral Ecology 23, 246253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bigg, M.A. (1982) An assessment of killer whale (Orcinus orca) stocks of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 32, 655666.Google Scholar
Deecke, V.B., Nykänen, M., Foote, A.D. and Janik, V.M. (2011) Vocal behaviour and feeding ecology of killer whales (Orcinus orca) around Shetland, UK. Aquatic Biology 13, 7988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Esteban-Pavo, R. (2008) Abundancia, Estructura social y Parámetros de Historia Natural de la orca (Orcinus orca) en el Estrecho de Gibraltar. MSc thesis. University of Cadiz, Spain.Google Scholar
Evans, W.E., Yablokov, A.V. and Bowles, A.E. (1982) Geographic variation in the color pattern of killer whales (Orcinus orca). Reports of the International Whaling Commission 32, 687694.Google Scholar
Foote, A.D. (2011) North Atlantic killer whales. Whalewatcher, killer whale: the top, top predator. Journal of the American Cetacean Society 40, 3032.Google Scholar
Foote, A.D., Newton, J., Piertney, S.B., Willerslev, E. and Gilbert, M.T.P. (2009) Ecological, morphological and genetic divergence of sympatric North Atlantic killer whale populations. Molecular Ecology 18, 52075217.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Foote, A.D., Similä, T., Víkingsson, G.A. and Stevick, P.T. (2010) Movement, site fidelity and connectivity in a top marine predator, the killer whale. Evolutionary Ecology 24, 803814.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Foote, A.D., Vilstrup, J.T., de Stephanis, R., Verborgh, P., Abel Nielsen, S.C., Deaville, R., Kleivane, L., Martin, V., Miller, P.J.O., Øien, N., Perez-Gil, M., Rasmussen, M., Reid, R.J., Robertson, K.M., Rogan, E., Similä, T., Tejedor, M.L., Vester, H., Vikingsson, G., Willerslev, E., Gilbert, M.T.P. and Piertney, S.B. (2011) Genetic differentiation among North Atlantic killer whale populations. Molecular Ecology 20, 629641.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ford, J.K.B., Ellis, G.M. and Balcomb, K.C. (2000) Killer whales. The natural history and genealogy of Orcinus orca in British Columbia and Washington. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.Google Scholar
Hewitt, G. (2000) The genetic legacy of the Quaternary ice ages. Nature, 405, 907913.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kuningas, S., Similä, T. and Hammond, P.S. (2013) Population size, survival and reproductive rates of northern Norwegian killer whales (Orcinus orca) in 1986–2003. Journal of Marine Biology Association of the United Kingdom 93. doi:10.1017/S0025315413000933.Google Scholar
Luque, P.L., Davis, C.G., Reid, D.G., Wang, J. and Pierce, G.J. (2006) Opportunistic sightings of killer whales from Scottish pelagic trawlers fishing for mackerel and herring off North Scotland (UK) between 2000 and 2006. Aquatic Living Resources 19, 403410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mäkeläinen, P.H., van Ginneken, A.M. and Pietiäinen, H. (2013) Fluctuating asymmetry in the saddle patch shape of the Pacific Ocean killer whale (Orcinus orca) populations. Annales Zooligici Fennici 50, 347355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Packard, G.C. and Boardman, T.J. (1988) The misuse of ratios, indices, and percentages in ecophysical research. Physiological Zoology 61, 19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pitman, R.L., Durban, J.W., Greenfelder, M., Guinet, C., Jorgensen, M., Olson, P., Plana, J., Tixier, P. and Towers, J.R. (2011) Observations of a distinctive morphotype of killer whale (Orcinus orca), type D, from subantarctic waters. Polar Biology 34, 303306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pitman, R.L. and Ensor, P. (2003) Three forms of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Antarctic waters. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 5, 131139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pitman, R.L., Perryman, W.L., LeRoi, D. and Eilers, E. (2007) A dwarf form of killer whale in Antarctica. Journal of Mammalogy 88, 4348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Samarra, F.I.P., Deecke, V.B., Vinding, K., Rasmussen, M.H., Swift, R. and Miller, P.J.O. (2010) Killer whales (Orcinus orca) produce ultrasonic whistles. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 128, e205e210.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sigurjonsson, J., Lyrholm, T., Leatherwood, E., Jonsson, E. and Vikingsson, G., (1988) Photoidentification of killer whales, Orcinus orca, off Iceland, 1981 through 1986. Rit Fiskideildar 11, 99114.Google Scholar
Similä, T., Holst, J.C. and Christensen, I. (1996) Occurrence and diet of killer whales in northern Norway: seasonal patterns relative to the distribution and abundance of Norwegian spring-spawning herring. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 53, 769779.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simon, M., McGregor, P.K. and Ugarte, F. (2007) The relationship between the acoustic behaviour and surface activity of killer whales (Orcinus orca) that feed on herring (Clupea harengus). Acta Ethologica 10, 4753.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Visser, I.N. and Mäkeläinen, P. (2000) Variation in eye-patch shape of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in New Zealand waters. Marine Mammal Science 16, 459469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Supplementary material: File

Mäkeläinen Supplementary Material

Supplementary Material

Download Mäkeläinen Supplementary Material(File)
File 1.2 MB