19 Replies to “The Staddon Postulate”

  1. I fear I must extend and clarify the Staddon Postulate:
    “To understand the resident Orca one must first understand the herring; to understand the transient Orca one must first understand the seal”

  2. sorry, I didn’t realise that a) I hadn’t left my name on my comment and b) I would cause so much trouble…
    I’ll let boring lectures be boring lectures and not make anything witty from them in future, although my observations were correct (I do have a BSc in this… really I do!)
    [slinks into a corner slightly embarrassed but can’t contain the sarcasm-induced giggles]

  3. This is the most commented article of recent months and who’d of though that the insights afjorded (mis-spelling intentional) by the Staddon Postulate could be so controversial.
    Could I propose a less specific Maxim:
    To find an Orca, find it’s meal
    be that Herring, be that Seal.
    Then studying these Whale ingestions
    could answer sundry Delphinidae questions
    pretentious moi?
    I hope this will lead to a spirit of peace between readers who are qualified Marine Biologists andany friends who have recently returned from Norway.

  4. Just for further clarity. My observations were relating to the North Norwegian Orca which is both migratory and eats herrings. But the most interesting fact is that an entire school of several thousand herring can fart simultaneously when attacked by orcas.

  5. Clearly g and I are on different tracks – I was referring to the British Columbian (North Pacific) pods, rather than their Atlantic cousins. His comments are entirely common-sensical, but I fear the science isn’t…
    The terms ‘resident’ and ‘transient’ refer to pod social structure and feeding behaviour rather than migratory behaviour, for both groups migrate. North-norwegian pods are have both resident-like social structures and are fish eating. The terminology is confusing I grant you.
    Ian – love the poem 😀

  6. And there was me trying to be funny when really I had wandered into a Marine Biologists Discussion on Whales ! Oh well. At least I feel a little enlightened.

  7. Thank you to KT for further enlightenment and to Stu for further ignorance (they’re all in the same classification). However I was told that male North Norwegian Orcas mate outside their pod, so I’m still confused as to why they are classed as resident. I’d seriously like to know. I do hope the lovely Chantal from Tysfjord Turistsenter Base Camp has not misinformed me…

  8. Who knew these lectures would actually come in handy!
    To be fair to Stu: us marine biologists call them ‘killer WHALES’ and the order Odontoceti (which includes the Delphinidae) does translate as ‘toothed whales’, so I wouldn’t expect average-Joe-public to understand the subtle (and sometimes stupidly illogical) use of language in marine biology 😀
    g: ‘Residents’ should be called ‘fish eating’ or ‘near-shore’ orcas. Each pod is made up of a large maternal group, and neither male nor female offspring ever stray far from their mothers. Pods come together to mate, so the males mate outside their own pods.
    ‘Transients’ are so called because they were first noticed as small groups crossing the paths of larger ‘resident’ pods. They should be labelled as ‘mammal eating’ or ‘offshore’ orcas. They are usually only 3 or 4 individuals, made up of the mother, eldest son and one or two other offspring. When a new calf is born one of the older siblings must leave (the eldest son usually stays). The females leave and may spend time associated with other pods before becoming a matriarch herself, and the male offspring may spend some on their own or form batchelor groups and associate with other pods for mating.
    Does that clarify the matter?

Comments are closed.