Skip to main content

Killer Whales


Killer whales are at once both fascinating and fearsome, and Dr Wellard has dedicated the past 10 years of her research career to learning more about these mammals. In this episode, Dr Wellard reveals some of key characteristics and behaviours of orcas, such as their ability to take on sharks and whether they really connect with humans.

She explains how killer whales use bioacoustics, including echolocation clicks and burst-pulse sounds, to navigate, hunt, communicate and socialise with other pod members.

Dr Wellard also reveals the habitats of killer whales, including the deep waters off the Western Australian coast, and how her research is expanding the scientific knowledge of killer whales, enabling stronger population monitoring and conversation efforts.

  • How killer whales communicate [01:44]
  • Killer whale habitats [04:49]
  • Hunting strategies [08:50]
  • Social structure [11:28]
  • Conservation status and action [13:25]
  • Human impact on killer whales [20:53]

Find out more:

Got any questions, or suggestions for future topics?

Curtin University supports academic freedom of speech. The views expressed in The Future Of podcast may not reflect those of the university.

Music: OKAY by 13ounce Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 Music promoted by Audio Library

You can read the full transcript for the episode here: