Killer whales that hunted alongside humans may have become extinct

A mysterious population of killer whales, said to have hunted alongside native Australian whalers for millennia and European whalers for decades, appears to have disappeared, genetic analysis has revealed.

The coastal Thaua people, part of the Yuin nation, will sing to beowas (killer whales) as they have hunted beaked whales together for generations in Turembulerrer (Twice) Bay off eastern Australia. Killer whales took only the lips and tongues of killed whales in a mutually beneficial exchange called the “Law of the Tongue,” according to a study published Oct. 12 in Journal of Heredity.

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