Wha? What?? Did I hear that right? I did. Not only that but the information was coming from a park interpretive ranger guiding the group. A park ranger who lives in a town where significant killer whale research goes on. Where he has access and has talked to biologists who study killer whales. Ack!
For those of you who don't know: There are two types of killer whales. In that the ranger was correct. Now I recently finished completing a lot of work on this orca ID Catalogue for Eastern Kamchatka, Russia. I'm not a main author but I am acknowledged and let's face it, I put in a lot of work on it. So I know a little bit about the subject. I know 500 plus Russian killer whales by name.
The two types of killer whales are the Residents & the Transients. These labels are totally mis-leading and are based on previous assumptions about orcas but somehow they've stuck. Resident Orcas are fish eating orcas and they tend to not to travel very far. Transient Orcas are mammal eaters and they have to travel farther for food. But both groups tend to be loyal to a certain territory. The interesting thing as that these two groups are distinct genetically, where ever you find orcas. That means that while the orcas here at the north pole are genetically distinct from the orcas at the south pole the fish eaters and the mammal eaters in both places are still distinct from each other. So this is not necessarily a learned behavior but an inherited one. (Can you hear it now though? Orca prejudices - daddy will never speak to you again little fish eater if you marry that mammal eater!).
I can only guess that the ranger has been exposed to the saying "I'm a vegetarian but I eat fish" too often. But come on, who is he fooling? These are predators? Have you ever taken a look at those teeth? There should be a park sign that says "Please don't feed the tourists mis-information".