Getting the Gull: Baiting trick spreads among killer whales | Science News

Real Science. Real News.

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


News

Getting the Gull: Baiting trick spreads among killer whales

By
1:37pm, August 17, 2005

A young male orca that started regurgitating fish and then ambushing seagulls attracted by the mess seems to have set off a wave of cultural transmission in his neighborhood.

The innovative killer whale lives in MarineLand, an attraction in Niagara Falls, Canada, and behavioral biologist Michael Noonan happened to videotape the orca's early ambushes. As Noonan kept track, other orcas in the park also started baiting gulls this way.

The spread of this trick might be an orca version of people learning from each other, proposes Noonan, a researcher at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. His records offer a rare look at the path of a tradition, he reported last week in Snowbird, Utah, at the annual meeting of th

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content