The calls of orcas have a lot to teach humans. For one, killer whales have cultural drift.
At a recent Southeast Alaska Wildlife Alliance talk, University of Alaska Fairbanks Ph.D candidate Dan Olsen spoke on his years of researching killer whales.
Like the oral storytelling traditions of humans, orcas pass calls from one generation to another and maintain them culturally, Olsen said. Groups tend to have between 10 and 15 calls.
Cultural drift is a culture’s tendency to change in different ways over time, from generation to generation.