Connect with us

Opinion

Opinion: False killer whales come to Phuket

Published

 on 

PHUKET: The sighting of false killer whales by a group of lucky marine tourists in Phuket last week should serve as a reminder that despite mankind’s demonstrated ability to shape our environment, there is still a lot going on around us that we understand poorly – or not at all.

The ‘aliens among us’ theme has served as a fertile plot device for many a successful Hollywood film, from the insightful Star Trek franchise to action comedies like Mars Attacks and Men in Black.

As impressive as these creative works might be, the fact remains: truth is stranger than fiction.
Given the recent sightings, there has no doubt been a spike in web searches on the term ‘false killer whale’.

If ever a creature existed with a more confusing English-language appellation, we would like to be made aware of it. Even the Latin term pseudorca crassidens is frustratingly inaccurate.

As Wikipedia informs us, the so-called false killer whale is not only not a whale, let alone a killer whale (also not a whale, by the way), it is among the most elusive, yet widespread species of deep sea dolphins.

Given all these facts, for us to continue calling these fascinating creatures ‘false killer whales’ makes about as much sense as the nonsensical, yet linguistically entrenched tradition of referring to Native Americans as ‘Indians’.

From another perspective, however, such a confounding name is perhaps apt for a species about which we know so little. What little research has been conducted on the ways of pseudorca crassidens has revealed some amazing findings, however.

For a start, they are known to sometimes offer their catch to swimmers and divers they encounter – albeit rarely – by chance, an act of interspecies generosity seldom seen in nature.

Individuals are also known to pair up and make lifelong friends with bottlenose dolphins, with whom they are known to cooperate in hunting.

These bonds appear to be individual-to-individual friendships, much like relationships between so many of us and canis lupus familiaris, aka ‘the domestic dog’.

Hopefully the rare sighting of this pod will serve not only as a reminder of the need to better conserve the marine environment that makes up most of our biosphere, but also of the fact that we are not the only sentient creatures in this realm.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Environment8 hours ago

Sea turtle choked to death on plastic waste

Thailand8 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Big Feast For Monkeys At Lopburi Festival

South8 hours ago

Buddhists and Muslims rally for peace together in South Thailand

Sponsored16 hours ago

What makes Tops Fine Food the ideal place to shop for premium food in Bangkok

Thailand8 hours ago

Cowardly rapist arrested for a fifth time in Isaan

Songkhla9 hours ago

Russian crewman’s hand cut off in Songkhla ship accident

Transport10 hours ago

Cat out of the bag – Stowaway found in JFK passenger’s luggage

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand10 hours ago

Murderer offers 100,000 baht to netizens to cut off his EM ankle bracelet

World Cup10 hours ago

Football fans riot in Brussels after Belgium defeat

Tourism10 hours ago

TAT holds Amazing Thailand Fest 2022 in India

Phuket11 hours ago

Gus, 7, youngest Thai person to reach Everest Base Camp

Expats11 hours ago

New direct flight between Muscat and Bangkok

Bangkok11 hours ago

Elderly Australian amputee abandoned in a hostel receiving care

Crime11 hours ago

Man arrested in South Thailand for attempted murder in Phuket

Thailand12 hours ago

Pattaya motorcycle taxi rider arrested for sexually harassing Thai singer

Cosmetic Surgery12 hours ago

Boobs ban! Macro-textured implants outlawed in Thailand

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending