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who's whose father?

Genetic testing provides some interesting paternity results


In 2011, scientists and collaborators from Northwest Marine Fisheries Service, Center for Whale Research, University of Washington, and Cascadia Research Collective reported the paternity of more than fifteen Southern Resident killer whale calves. The study, Inferred paternity and male reproductive success in a killer whale (Orcinus orca) population, found that only J1 and L41 could be positively identified as having fathered offspring in the SRKW community. Other mature Southern Resident orca males were "inferred by indirect methods to be probable fathers of living SRKW." There was conclusive evidence that some individuals were born as a result of matings by animals from the same pod. A study published in March 2018, Inbreeding in an endangered killer whale population, found: "The 46 high confidence paternities involved males mating with females from all three pods (Supporting Information: Table S 6). Two males, L41 and J1, were responsible for 80% of the paternities where a sampled father was identified, and 52% of all sampled offspring born since 1990."


J1 (died 2010)


SRKW Known Paternity: J1 & L41 

Source. Supporting Information: Table S 6 (Ford, et al., 2017; published March 2018)


Known paternity: J1

  • J14 (female/died 2016) 

  • J22 (female/born 1985)

  • J27 (male/born 1991)

  • J28 (female/died 2016)

  • J32 (female/died 2014)

  • J33 (male/died 2010)

  • J39 (male/born 2003)

  • J41 (female/born 2005)

  • J46 (female/born 2009)

  • K14 (female/born 1977)

  • K27 (female/born 1994)

  • K37 (male/born 2003)

  • K43 (female/born 2010)

  • L103 (female/born 2003)

  • L108 (male/born 2006)

  • L109 (male/born 2007)

L41 (missing 2020)


Known paternity: L41

  • J34 (male/died 2016)

  • J35 (female/born 1998)

  • J36 (female/born 1999)

  • J37 (female/born 2001)

  • J40 (female/born 2004)

  • J44 (male/born 2009)

  • J45 (male/born 2009)

  • Neonate (died 2013)

  • J53 (female/born 2015)

  • K33 (male/born 2001)

  • K34 (male/born 2001)

  • K35 (male/born 2002)

  • K36 (female/born 2003)

  • K42 (male/born 2008)

  • L95 (male/died 2016)

  • L100 (male/died 2014)

  • L101(male/died 2008)

  • L106 (male/born 2005)

  • L112 (female/died 2012)

  • L116 (male/born 2010)

L116 (Father - L41); J34 (Father - L41) and J46 (Father - J1); K35 (Father - L41)

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