From the Royal BC Museum 

Student Elizabeth Rohlicek looks at the evolution of toothed and baleen whales.

Head of knowledge Leah Best announces the upcoming Orcas exhibition in this edition of What’s inSight.

In this edition of What’s inSight, curator of vertebrate zoology Dr. Gavin Hanke discusses the death of Rhapsody (J32) and what it has taught us about the state of our oceans.   

Curator of vertebrate zoology Dr. Gavin Hanke goes through the process of sorting and putting together the bones of  Rhapsody and her calf.

Dr. Gavin Hanke discovers something unusual about Nitinat’s (T12A) teeth after acquiring the whale’s skull.

Dr. Gavin Hanke discusses the abnormal bone shape in the skeleton of an orca known as T-171 .

Orcas in Science, Art and History, Edited by Dr. Martha Black, Dr. Lorne Hammond and Dr. Gavin Hanke with Nikki Sanchez

Royal BC Museum Handbook, John K.B. Ford

Where to Begin Your Own Research

Search the Royal BC Museum website for online records of mammals in the collection.

Learn more about mammals at the Royal BC Museum.

Outside Links

From the author who created the text for the Royal BC Museum’s Orcas exhibition, “this nonfiction book for middle readers takes a deep dive into the lives of orcas.”

Mark Leiren-Young, author of Orcas Everywhere , meets the humans who are fighting to save our oceans, orcas and environment. 

See and listen to live orcas and sea lions with OrcaLab’s Orca Live streams. 

Understand our connection to water with Project WET. Their mission is to reach children, parents, teachers and community members of the world with water education that promotes awareness of water and empowers community action to solve complex water issues. Also check out their interactive learning site Discover Water.

Today there are no orcas at the Vancouver Aquarium. Instead their staff are active in environmental research to improve the state of our oceans, including the  survival of orcas in the wild. Explore what Ocean Wise is doing to make a better world for orcas, and other marine life.

  • Tom Shandell’s We Call Them Killers is a 1972 documentary that explores ethics and performances by the orcas Haida and Chimo at Sealand of the Pacific in Victoria. Lifelong orca scientist Paul Spong comments on the ethics of captivity and jazz flautist Paul Horn’s performance with Haida are highlights of this 15-minute National Film Board of Canada documentary. 
  • A traditional Haida story about love and the Kingdom of the Orca’s beneath the sea inspired Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter’s first film The Mountain of SGaana. National Film Board of Canada, 2017.