One ocean, four (or more) killer whale species

One ocean, four (or more) killer whale species

New genetic analysis splits killer whales into multiple taxa

By Tina Hesman Saey, 14:30 PM May 7, 2010

Determining whether animals belong to the same species is not as black and white as you might think.

Take killer whales. Scientists have long debated whether the ocean-dwelling mammals all belong in one species. Now, DNA evidence suggests that killer whales should be classified in at least four species, and maybe more.

Scientists once thought killer whales all belonged to the species Orcinus orca. But as researchers began observing more closely, they discovered that the whales seem to be...

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