Killer Whale Wisdom

Killer whale wisdom: Rely on older women.

Killer whale wisdom is simple:
Rely on older females.


  • Menopause: an evolutionary mystery unique to humans, killer whales and short-finned pilot whales. **
  • Female killer whales can live past 90, well beyond their reproductive years; because their wisdom benefits their offspring and pod members. Males rarely survive past 50 ***
  • Leadership by postreproductive females is most prominent when stressors occur, such as food scarcity. ****
  • Postreproductive female killer whales lead collective movement. *****

Killer whale wisdom is simple:
Turn to older females, menopausal
To solve food shortages, route changes, colossal
Life-threatening dilemmas that baffle
Younger she-leaders. Males.

As we wage war
protest, denigrate, proliferate
Rend the very fabric of societies
I’m thinking we ought to pay attention.
Try something new.
Follow the killer whale lead.

 *this poem is still “in process”
*For more information on this phenomenon, read this L.A. Times article written by originally published March 6,2015. You can also see the study data at Current Biology.
** More details at Ocean Portal
*** Read more at Eureka Alert, The Global Source for Science News
****  Additional information at Science
***** See the full scientific abstract here


36 thoughts on “Killer Whale Wisdom

  1. Myrna says:

    THANK YOU KIM! Here’s one more major reason to save the whales. Most importantly, to consider how different, (better) life would be with the leadership of us post menopausals.
    Myrna recently posted…DEAD ROSESMy Profile

  2. Hannah Gosselin says:

    Yes! I’ve recently researched the Blue Whale…I think I remember they do the same…I have to agree wholeheartedly…we CAN learn from them! Wonderful powerful write, Kim.

  3. Susan says:

    Amen. You’re reminding me of feminism from the 19070s and 80s. Time to remember and move forward. Beautiful. Love the killer whale drawing too.
    Susan recently posted…Poetry MonthMy Profile

  4. CC says:

    This is so fascinating…..and I love the way you summed it up at the top in the two lines of simple wisdom. Beautiful painting too.

  5. Kerry O'Connor says:

    Suddenly, I feel a whole lot better with this new knowledge of whales and women.


  6. Old Egg says:

    I think most answers to and for life are out there. Sadly we are the worst species to have gained control (or so we think) over earth. Nevil Shute the author thought rabbits would take over mankind; mind you I still favor the rats!
    Old Egg recently posted…Singing in the carMy Profile

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