8- Orca Population History

Killer whales are an icon of the world’s oceans. However, genetic studies show that they haven’t always been doing so well- especially during the last Ice Age. What’s the story? And what relevance does the millennia-old plight of the orca have today? On the podcast today, we’re going to use a genetic study from 2014 to explore just that.

Sources for this episode: 1) Moura, A. E. et al (2014), Killer Whale Nuclear Genome and mtDNA Reveal Widespread Population Bottleneck during the Last Glacial Maximum. Molecular Biology and Evolution 31(5): 1121- 1131. 2) General dates for some of the geological epochs discussed are widely available and can be found at sources such as Wikipedia.

A small housekeeping note: the lamellipodium episode is taking longer than expected and so has had to be pushed back a bit until November 25th (episode 10).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *