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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Greeting Ceremony

A greeting ceremony is a unique social behaviour unique to the southern resident killer whale community. Upon meeting, after separation of a day or two, they will often group up in front of each other and stop at the surface. After less than a minute the groups dive and create astounding underwater bioacoustics while milling around in tight groups. This behaviour has been exhibited by the northern residents but is much more common among the southern residents as is breaches and aerial displays.



An assembly of whales grouped up tight along the shoreline making loud surface whistles moving very slowly north. Another group turned toward them and lined up in front. The two groups then slowly traveled towards each other in long lines. Upon meeting they dove and made intense underwater vocalizations. The whales regrouped, one heading north while the other went south. (Lime Kiln, San Juan Island - October 4 / 2005, 17:00)

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