whales

From: Carlson, Pam (carlsonp@wdni.com)
Date: Thu 01 May 1997 - 19:37:00 EEST


Trotsky argues:

>And an orca pod consists of a single male and a harem of three to four
females (plus sub-adults of both sexes), which is hardly matriarchal
either.

On which planet? Sorry Trotsky - you have old info.

Here in the orca research capital of the world, (the Pacific NW/ British
Columbia), 30 years of observation and genetic study show that orca pods
are led my an older female. Pod members consist of her daughters and
sons, and her daughter's calves. The males in the pod are her sons, and
they do not mate with females in their own pod. Males will temporarily
hang out with other pods to mate, then return to their mother's pod.

Come to Glorantha Con V this summer in Victoria BC, and stop by the
Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, WA, or the Vancouver Aquarium in
Vancouver, BC. Both have excellent exhibits on orca biology.

Similar patterns have been found in horses. Herds are led, not by
stallions, but by an older mare who is related to most of the other
mares. The stallions just follow the mares around, spending much of
their effort just keeping other stallions away.

Many of our ideas about animal behavior were formed in the late 1800's
to mid 1900's. It's interesting how the observer's cultural
expectations colored their interpretations. (Stallions were obviously
the leaders!) Modern observations strive for more objectivity, and show
a more diverse range of social systems.

Kind of like Glorantha, no?

Pam

PS - Still working on the DH calendar info - I haven't forgotten. My
life is topsy-turvy now. I'm holding the fort alone at work, my
kitchen is full of puppies, my mom has come for a long visit... and
it's BASEBALL SEASON!:-)

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