Beady Blue on Flickr.Happy 8th Birthday Nalani!Please don’t repost or remove credit, thanks.

Beady Blue on Flickr.

Happy 8th Birthday Nalani!
Please don’t repost or remove credit, thanks.

nahwitti:

nahwitti:

stumpytheorca:

derangedhyena-delphinidae:

fightingforwhales:

Has anybody EVER been able to figure out why whales who were captured from the wild seem to have longer lifespans in captivity as opposed to ones who were born in captivity?

Like, I’m not talking about…

Well, then let’s take a look at wild-caught and captive-borns from the same time span. Orca breeding started in 1985 (Kalina). Between 1985 and 1995 there were 15 successful orca births (succsessful = survived first 6 months). Of these 15 animals 7 are still alive today. During the same decade 14 orcas were successfully caught from the wild (again successful = survived first 6 months). Of these 14 animals 2 are alive today. Given that they all ‘entered’ captivity at the same time conditions/care/learning curve should have been the same. Still I don’t see the pattern fightingforwhales has suggested with her theory.

Data can be found on orcahome.

So I saw this on my dash and decided to look into a bit more. I compiled all the time in captivity for all “successful” captives (using Nahwitti’s definition of “successful” above, survived first 6 months in captivity), so this is the age at death for captive borns and the time in captivity (so not age) for those captured. The x axis is “year entered captivity” which is obviously birth year for captive borns and year of capture for wild borns.Y axis is the age, I just forgot the axis title.
All the data is from orcahome, and applies to all captive facilities.
A full version of the shatter chart below is available here [link].  I’m still getting used to my new version of Excel so the trendlines may not be the correct version to use. It should be basically correct though.

cetaceannerd:

Just some experimentation.

cetaceannerd:

Just some experimentation.

tagged → #i like! #nalani #orca
Oral stereotypies as learned behaviors

thelonelywhale:

cetuscetus:

tokitaee:

derangedhyena-delphinidae:

thelonelywhale:

So I’ve been looking at photos of some of the early captive orcas and I’ve noticed that most of them more or less have pretty decent teeth. While this may have been dependent on the types of facilities some individuals were in, even some animals in the “modern” facilities like SeaWorld (with gates and concrete walls) appeared to have decent teeth up until a certain point. We know that pretty much all captive orcas today, including those captive-born, have abyssmal oral health. Even recently captured animals like Morgan started biting on walls and gates (though she very well could have learned this from whales already there).

I’m basically trying to pinpoint which animals first started exhibiting these behaviors and therefore may have taught them to others. Does anyone know of any research done specifically on oral stereotypies?

Don’t know of research, am curious of the same.

Things I suspect (aggregate of thoughts based on reading):

-Social stress. The early captive populations weren’t very big. They weren’t in huge ridiculous manmade pods in tiny spaces. Lone orcas don’t show this problem - Kshamenk’s teeth are good. So are Tokitae’s. So were Keiko’s.

(though as you point out, this could very easily also make it a learned behavior and these guys just didn’t have anyone to learn it from.)

-Change of gate material. I’ve seen a lot of literature/discussions refer to the fact that facilities (SW, etc) ‘went to’ metal gates, implying that they didn’t have metal gates previously? But I could never find much on that, and it seems absurd that they’d go to— and stick with —something the animals were hurting themselves on so much. But, marine parks… so…

-Boredom. On-demand stimulation’s not very available. This goes more for concrete-gnawing than gate-biting. I think there’s a distinct difference between those two (trying for a sensation vs. obstacle frustration.)

/shrug

Really interesting! I was always curious about why the earlier captives had nice teeth.

I can’t provide any sources for research, I have thought for a while that the gate/wall chewing could be learnt behaviours though. Not only because lone orcas like Lolita don’t seem to have adopted the behaviour but also when comparing teeth between SeaWorld’s whales. If you compare young whales (who haven’t been transferred) at San Diego and Orlando, the teeth of the Orlando pod do seem worse, perhaps indicating that they see older whales performing the behaviours and copy them.
For example, Malia, who I have personally witnessed what I believe to be wall chewing, has quite a few broken and worn teeth:
(Photo taken September 2014, Malia age ~7.5 years)imageCompared to Kalia, who has some wear on her front teeth but has relatively good teeth in comparison.
(Photo taken April 2013, Kalia age ~9.5)imageI know a sample size of two is hardly scientific, but it’s just something I’d thought I’d share.

I won’t argue the fact that the Orlando orcas have god-awful oral health. But remember there are older animals at San Diego with poor teeth as well. Ulises and Kasatka have some very worn/broken teeth, and poor old Corky has no teeth left in her bottom jaw.

Just another little piece to the puzzle I suppose.

Oh yea, I’m by no means saying this is the one and only cause, it’s almost certainly multi-layered.

Corky’s teeth were in poor condition before she came to SeaWorld so it’s hard to say if she would have played any part in showing/picking up the behaviour. Orkid is another flaw in my theory as she has only lived in San Diego and has fairly poor teeth.

Kasatka’s teeth are interesting. She has some missing on her lower right jaw but other than that her teeth appear slowly worn down rather than broken as she has no exposed pulp that I can see in any photos [x].

Oral stereotypies as learned behaviors

tokitaee:

derangedhyena-delphinidae:

thelonelywhale:

So I’ve been looking at photos of some of the early captive orcas and I’ve noticed that most of them more or less have pretty decent teeth. While this may have been dependent on the types of facilities some individuals were in, even some animals in the “modern” facilities like SeaWorld (with gates and concrete walls) appeared to have decent teeth up until a certain point. We know that pretty much all captive orcas today, including those captive-born, have abyssmal oral health. Even recently captured animals like Morgan started biting on walls and gates (though she very well could have learned this from whales already there).

I’m basically trying to pinpoint which animals first started exhibiting these behaviors and therefore may have taught them to others. Does anyone know of any research done specifically on oral stereotypies?

Don’t know of research, am curious of the same.

Things I suspect (aggregate of thoughts based on reading):

-Social stress. The early captive populations weren’t very big. They weren’t in huge ridiculous manmade pods in tiny spaces. Lone orcas don’t show this problem - Kshamenk’s teeth are good. So are Tokitae’s. So were Keiko’s.

(though as you point out, this could very easily also make it a learned behavior and these guys just didn’t have anyone to learn it from.)

-Change of gate material. I’ve seen a lot of literature/discussions refer to the fact that facilities (SW, etc) ‘went to’ metal gates, implying that they didn’t have metal gates previously? But I could never find much on that, and it seems absurd that they’d go to— and stick with —something the animals were hurting themselves on so much. But, marine parks… so…

-Boredom. On-demand stimulation’s not very available. This goes more for concrete-gnawing than gate-biting. I think there’s a distinct difference between those two (trying for a sensation vs. obstacle frustration.)

/shrug

Really interesting! I was always curious about why the earlier captives had nice teeth.

I can’t provide any sources for research, I have thought for a while that the gate/wall chewing could be learnt behaviours though. Not only because lone orcas like Lolita don’t seem to have adopted the behaviour but also when comparing teeth between SeaWorld’s whales. If you compare young whales (who haven’t been transferred) at San Diego and Orlando, the teeth of the Orlando pod do seem worse, perhaps indicating that they see older whales performing the behaviours and copy them.
For example, Malia, who I have personally witnessed what I believe to be wall chewing, has quite a few broken and worn teeth:
(Photo taken September 2014, Malia age ~7.5 years)imageCompared to Kalia, who has some wear on her front teeth but has relatively good teeth in comparison.
(Photo taken April 2013, Kalia age ~9.5)imageI know a sample size of two is hardly scientific, but it’s just something I’d thought I’d share.

cute-whales:

volk-morya:

Old Tom: Anniversary of the death of a legend

Wednesday marks 84 years since the end of one of the most unique relationships in world history, between two of the most intelligent species on Earth.
The body of Old Tom, the last of the ‘Killers of Eden’, a pod of killer whales who worked side-by-side with human whalers, was found in Twofold Bay on September 17, 1930.
Today, 84 years on, his skeleton is preserved in the Eden Killer Whale Museum, and remains one of the town’s biggest drawcards.
Fittingly, local tourism operators will visit the museum on Wednesday for a screening of ‘This Eden’, the museum’s new DVD showcasing Eden’s vast history, which is largely centred on whaling.
“Old Tom is special because he represents the last of that era,” museum historian and tour guide Barry Smith said.
“His death was the end of an incredible partnership that developed over a period of around 8-10,000 years, dating back to the end of the last ice age.
“Killer whales are very intelligent creatures, and they’d perfected this method of hunting other whales where they would drive them onto the shore and eat there.
“Because the killers only ate the lips and the tongue [of their pray], they found it easier than eating at sea.”
It was through this that the unique bond between human and whale was formed in Twofold Bay.
Read more here.
(via Orca Network)

Text credit: Blake Foden

I’ve been urging my boyfriend to write a post about this tale as he was the one who found and enlightened me to it! diarrheaworldstarhiphop

cute-whales:

volk-morya:

Old Tom: Anniversary of the death of a legend

Wednesday marks 84 years since the end of one of the most unique relationships in world history, between two of the most intelligent species on Earth.

The body of Old Tom, the last of the ‘Killers of Eden’, a pod of killer whales who worked side-by-side with human whalers, was found in Twofold Bay on September 17, 1930.

Today, 84 years on, his skeleton is preserved in the Eden Killer Whale Museum, and remains one of the town’s biggest drawcards.

Fittingly, local tourism operators will visit the museum on Wednesday for a screening of ‘This Eden’, the museum’s new DVD showcasing Eden’s vast history, which is largely centred on whaling.

“Old Tom is special because he represents the last of that era,” museum historian and tour guide Barry Smith said.

“His death was the end of an incredible partnership that developed over a period of around 8-10,000 years, dating back to the end of the last ice age.

“Killer whales are very intelligent creatures, and they’d perfected this method of hunting other whales where they would drive them onto the shore and eat there.

“Because the killers only ate the lips and the tongue [of their pray], they found it easier than eating at sea.”

It was through this that the unique bond between human and whale was formed in Twofold Bay.

Read more here.

(via Orca Network)

Text credit: Blake Foden

I’ve been urging my boyfriend to write a post about this tale as he was the one who found and enlightened me to it! diarrheaworldstarhiphop

Anonymous asked: So SeaWorld San Diego IS getting Shamu Christmas Miracles this year, as well as a new Christmas dolphin show! (You can go to the SWC website, click on "Pass Members", and scroll down to the FunTracker...you don't have to log in or anything ) :)

How interesting! I assume the dolphin show will be a night-time show in addition to Blue Horizons. A link for anyone else interested.

Thank you anon for letting me know :)