Formerly Listen Edition

Killer whales

Image licensed under CC BY 2.0


Life Science Oceans

Story Length: 5:08
Science Middle School

Killer Whales

Ever heard a killer whale? Biologists studying killer whales face the challenge of studying organisms that spend the majority of their time underwater. This public radio story goes underwater to hear what whales sound like. It looks at the reasons that scientists are willing to work so hard to study them. In addition, the story explores the adaptations that different populations of killer whales have evolved to capture prey.

Want to see the full lesson plan?

Hear the story and see lesson plan, materials, and more. Learn More

Sign Up for Free Log In

This audio is part of the One Species at a Time series hosted by Ari Daniel and produced by Atlantic Public Media and the Encyclopedia of Life, with the support from the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.

Essential Question

Why are killer whales difficult to study? How have killer whales adapted to feeding on different types of prey?


Students will know and be able to…

  • discuss pros and cons of choosing to study killer whales.
  • describe the purpose of different types of vocalizations of killer whales
  • discuss adaptations for feeding that are observed in killer whales
  • answer questions about killer whale behavior by producing and interpreting graphical information