Taximisnomy

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One of my favourite species is the false killer whale, for no other reason than for its name. Here are some false killer whale-related facts (all courtesy of Wikipedia):

  • False killer whales are not in fact whales, but cetaceans, and neither are killer whales. Both species kill dolphins, which seems a bit mean. Give a dog a bad name…
  • Not only are killer whales not whales, but the term “killer whale” is a mistranslation of the Spanish for “whale killer”.
  • False killer whales are no more “false” than killer whales, and the whole “false” thing is bit unfair really. They’re only called that because some donut mistook them for another species and the name stuck. Rumours that false killer whales tend to be excessively nice to people they can’t stand at parties remain unfounded.
  • False killer whales have elbows. Sort of.
  • A hybrid of a false killer whale and a bottlenose dolphin (presumably, the false killer whale creed is “what we don’t eat we shag”) is called a wolphin. This would be a ridiculous name even if it wasn’t for the fact that, as already stated, a false killer whale is not a whale!

Feel free to add your own fascinating false killer whale related facts in the comments below.

1 thought on “Taximisnomy

  1. Nothing about false killer whales I’m afraid.

    However the Conservatives on Rochford DC are an odd mixture of animal rights and general right-wingery.
    They have come up with a Draft Animal Welfare Charter for our area. I thought this was something special for oxen, very large horses, water-buffalo etc. . However, it is merely a draft version of a charter for all animals. Don’t think there’s anything there on Wolphins, but I could check.

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