What you will do now is apply this to the topic of orcas (Orcinus orca), specifically the populations living in the waters off the northwest US coast.

Each student must first conduct some independent research to find information on orca whales and the possibility of speciation occurring in this whale. Second, each student contributes a short paragraph (at least 4-5 sentences) post providing information on some aspect of the topic. You must also include the source citation in your post – make sure it is a reliable source! 

Some ideas to get you started:

  • orca whales – is it 1 species or more?
  • what type of speciation are researchers investigating?
  • how does this type of speciation work?  what are the mechanisms for separation?
  • what possible reproductive barriers may be at work in orca populations?
  • what might natural selection be acting on?  what advantageous trait may exist in these populations?
  • how could scientists test if these are unique species or not?
  • how will the taxonomy (Orcinus orca) be affected if there are more than 1 species of orca?
  • can you connect any aspect of this story to any other concept or topic you’ve learned in this course?