Orca eats shark

| 21 Comments

I think this story calls for revising the rules of Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock into Rock-Paper-Scissors-Orca-Shark. You know, Paper covers Rock, Scissors cut Paper, Orca puts Shark into state of tonic immobility.

21 Comments

AAAUUUGGHHHH!!!!

Orcas are dolphins (family delphinidae). They are not whales (suborder mysticeti) that everyone routinely thinks of. Specifically, ‘whale’ is normally, even taxonomically, excludes dolphins.

They are all cetaceans, but cetacea =/= whale.

Sorry, taxnomic rant over. Thank you for listening. I’ll shut up now.

ogremk5 said: I’ll shut up now.

Please … orcas == “killer whales”. “Is there supposed to be hypen in ‘anal retentive’?”

ogremk5 said:

AAAUUUGGHHHH!!!!

Orcas are dolphins (family delphinidae). They are not whales (suborder mysticeti) that everyone routinely thinks of. Specifically, ‘whale’ is normally, even taxonomically, excludes dolphins.

They are all cetaceans, but cetacea =/= whale.

Sorry, taxnomic rant over. Thank you for listening. I’ll shut up now.

So are sperm “whales” more closely related to dolphins that to the baleen whales? If so, then whales would not be a proper taxonomic group. Size alone should not define a sea animal as a whale.

So I would refer to dolphins as “whales” too.

Cue made-for-tv SyFy movie in 3, 2, 1… The only real question is whether they’ll use Deborah Gibson, Tiffany, or both.

ogremk5 said:

They are not whales (suborder mysticeti) that … They are all cetaceans, but cetacea =/= whale.

Maybe this is really different in English (not my native language), but for me always was cetaceae=whales=mysticeti+odontoceti, with the latter containing delphinidae, sperm whales and a lot of others.

The blog system made a googlemess out of my identity - I’m Ralf Muschall, https://plus.google.com/u/0/1057910[…]49722415966/

circleh said:

ogremk5 said:

AAAUUUGGHHHH!!!!

Orcas are dolphins (family delphinidae). They are not whales (suborder mysticeti) that everyone routinely thinks of. Specifically, ‘whale’ is normally, even taxonomically, excludes dolphins.

They are all cetaceans, but cetacea =/= whale.

Sorry, taxnomic rant over. Thank you for listening. I’ll shut up now.

So are sperm “whales” more closely related to dolphins that to the baleen whales? If so, then whales would not be a proper taxonomic group. Size alone should not define a sea animal as a whale.

So I would refer to dolphins as “whales” too.

yes. dolphins (including orcas) and the large toothed ‘whales’ (sperm, beluga, pilot, etc) are suborder odontoceti. Very different from Mysticeti (the baleen whales). Different number of nostrils, habitats, foraging, etc.

yeah, I am beginning to not like many of the naming conventions. Cetacean is all marine mammals. Whale, just means whatever you want it to mean, usually the largest of the marine mammals from two different suborders. It seems to be that any marine mammal larger than an orca or so* is a whale.

Beluga whales are actually not that much bigger than bottlenose dolphins. I just don’t know.

Remember … “fish” includes both sharks and trout, though a trout is in some ways more like us than it is a shark.

ogremk5 said: It seems to be that any marine mammal larger than an orca or so* is a whale.

Beluga whales are actually not that much bigger than bottlenose dolphins. I just don’t know.

Belugas are in odontoceti, but outside delphinidae - by a cladistic interpretation of your classification they wouldn’t be whales. Steller’s sea cow (extinct) was bigger than an orca and is not even remotely related to whales.

Wikipedia also mentions this mess - “whale” commonly seems to mean mysticeti+(odontoceti-delphinidae-phocoenidae), which formally is paraphyletic (but includes belugas) and informally just weird. I’d say we call them all “fish” - this at least correct, includes sea cows and is probably safe against future discoveries.

Dang, too bad science can’t just “reveal” or declare something to be The Truth and make it a sin to ever question it thereafter. Like this:

Orcas are whales. Dolphins are not. Shut up and just believe it. And praise Jesus.

Science isn’t for people with low tolerance for ambiguity.

ogremk5 said:

AAAUUUGGHHHH!!!!

Orcas are dolphins (family delphinidae). They are not whales (suborder mysticeti) that everyone routinely thinks of. Specifically, ‘whale’ is normally, even taxonomically, excludes dolphins.

They are all cetaceans, but cetacea =/= whale.

Sorry, taxnomic rant over. Thank you for listening. I’ll shut up now.

One thing that really seems to screw up taxonomy, especially colloquial taxonomy, is parallel evolution.

Marine vertebrates have evolved similar anatomic features in different ways.

There are similar issues with placental mammal/marsupial colloquial names, e.g. marsupial “tigers” and “wolves”.

@ogremk5:

Continuing the pedantry, this:

“Cetacean is all marine mammals”

is not true. You forgot sea otters, sea lions, seals, and walruses (Carnivora), manatees and dugongs (Sirenia).

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/[…]jrr8DHa_2YJI said:

ogremk5 said: It seems to be that any marine mammal larger than an orca or so* is a whale.

Beluga whales are actually not that much bigger than bottlenose dolphins. I just don’t know.

Belugas are in odontoceti, but outside delphinidae - by a cladistic interpretation of your classification they wouldn’t be whales. Steller’s sea cow (extinct) was bigger than an orca and is not even remotely related to whales.

Wikipedia also mentions this mess - “whale” commonly seems to mean mysticeti+(odontoceti-delphinidae-phocoenidae), which formally is paraphyletic (but includes belugas) and informally just weird. I’d say we call them all “fish” - this at least correct, includes sea cows and is probably safe against future discoveries.

If we go with the strict definition of “dolphin = only members of Delphinidae” then that would exclude the river dolphins.

GvlGeologist, FCD said:

@ogremk5:

Continuing the pedantry, this:

“Cetacean is all marine mammals”

is not true. You forgot sea otters, sea lions, seals, and walruses (Carnivora), manatees and dugongs (Sirenia).

You forgot the cast of “Baywatch,” too.

apokryltaros said: You forgot the cast of “Baywatch,” too.

Well, when I go over to the city pool twice a week, I certainly see people in swimsuits who could qualify well enough as whales.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. But I like to go down the waterslide and one kid was wondering: “Why does the sign say that people who weigh more than 300 pounds can’t use the slide?”

I had to reply: “Because they’ll get STUCK!”

GvlGeologist, FCD said:

@ogremk5:

Continuing the pedantry, this:

“Cetacean is all marine mammals”

is not true. You forgot sea otters, sea lions, seals, and walruses (Carnivora), manatees and dugongs (Sirenia).

What’s really wacky is that recent genetic evidence shows that the carnivorous whales (including all Cetaceans) are closer relatives to hippos (which are land mammals that are semi-aquatic and herbivores) than hippos are to any other land animal! As a result, we are forced to put Cetaceans as a sub group of the Artiodactyla, where hippos, pigs, camels, cattle, and antelope are.

We can expect FL, Robert Byers, IBIG, or some other Creationist idiot to use that discovery as a proof against evolution!

That’s not all that unusual though, is it. Birds are an offshoot of therapods, which are an offshoot of some subset of reptiles (they’re closer to crocodiles than to lizards), which are an offshoot of some kind of fish (and us along with them, but never mind that).

What a wonderful mess, just what we would expect from evolution, I presume. Or a most whimsical designer, take your pick.

Rolf said:

What a wonderful mess, just what we would expect from evolution, I presume. Or a most whimsical designer, take your pick.

Or from a possibly whimsical designer who really, really, really likes evolutionary techniques.

SWT said:

Or from a possibly whimsical designer who really, really, really likes evolutionary techniques.

But that’s part of the Plan! It’s so he can send you to hell if you believe the evidence (false evidence that he created to trick you), instead of His Holy Word in a book cleverly designed to look like a cobbled-together bunch of goatherders’ campfire tales (to tempt you to doubt it–so he can send you to hell).

What a wonderful mess, just what we would expect from evolution, I presume. Or a most whimsical designer, take your pick.

Or a “designer” that decided that natural processes would produce a result adequate to whatever goal was intended. (Presumably something to do with beetles. )

(Just as long as nobody asks for a cetacean to support of what I just said… )

Henry

ogremk5 said:

circleh said:

ogremk5 said:

AAAUUUGGHHHH!!!!

Orcas are dolphins (family delphinidae). They are not whales (suborder mysticeti) that everyone routinely thinks of. Specifically, ‘whale’ is normally, even taxonomically, excludes dolphins.

They are all cetaceans, but cetacea =/= whale.

Sorry, taxnomic rant over. Thank you for listening. I’ll shut up now.

So are sperm “whales” more closely related to dolphins that to the baleen whales? If so, then whales would not be a proper taxonomic group. Size alone should not define a sea animal as a whale.

So I would refer to dolphins as “whales” too.

yes. dolphins (including orcas) and the large toothed ‘whales’ (sperm, beluga, pilot, etc) are suborder odontoceti. Very different from Mysticeti (the baleen whales). Different number of nostrils, habitats, foraging, etc.

yeah, I am beginning to not like many of the naming conventions. Cetacean is all marine mammals. Whale, just means whatever you want it to mean, usually the largest of the marine mammals from two different suborders. It seems to be that any marine mammal larger than an orca or so* is a whale.

Beluga whales are actually not that much bigger than bottlenose dolphins. I just don’t know.

No, not all marine mammals are whales, but only those in the order Cetacea. This excludes seals, sea lions, manatees, dugongs and sea otters. Dale is right to suggest that dolphins, including killer and pilot whales, are more closely related to the sperm whale (which is the largest living member of the odontoceti) than to the mystoceti (baleen whales), which includes taxa that are as “small” as killer whales (maybe as “small” as pilot whales too, if my memory is correct).

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This page contains a single entry by Timothy Sandefur published on August 9, 2011 6:33 PM.

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