Female Killer Whale in Boundry Pass

Michael S Nolan

Joined September 2010

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Artist's Description

This adult female killer whale (also known as Orca) is fully-laid out just before crashing into the water in Boundry Pass, separating British Columbia in Canada from the San Juan Islands of the United States. It is absolutely one of my favorite killer whale photos, but it is a very graphic photo indeed! Many attempts to get this photo published were returned from photo editors with the comment that it was a little too graphic, or perhaps whale (porno) graphic! But the shot does an excellent job of educating us all on how to tell male from female dolphins (after all, the killer whale is simply the world’s largest dolphin!) You can clearly see the umbilicus (belly button) as the black dot in the middle of the tummy. Lower we see the uro-genital slit, with smaller slits on either side. This combination let’s us know it’s a girl! These smaller slits are called mammary slits and it’s where a calf will nurse from. In his final book before his death (published only in French and only in France), Jacques Cousteau used this image. I couldn’t have been more thrilled!

Artwork Comments

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