Orca-Killer-WhalesMarine biologists and other researchers are voicing serious concerns regarding the high mortality rate among orcas (killer whales) observed over the past couple of years. No one has yet proven that there is a direct link between the 100 percent mortality rate seen among orca infants and the effects of the radiation contamination of the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima reactor leak in Japan, but it certainly can’t be ruled out as a possibility. It is rather interesting that the incidence of orca deaths — not just of infants, but full-grown specimens as well — has risen sharply since the accident occurred in 2011 and as the radiation has made its way across the Pacific Ocean to the West Coast of North America. Scientists have also noticed odd behavior among orcas recently. Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard, senior marine mammal scientist at the Vancouver Aquarium, has been “sounding the alarm” over the unprecedented mortality rate and the changes in behavior seen in orca pods off the coast of Canada and Alaska.  Dr. Barrett-Lennard says that he and other scientists have noticed that the mammals have become strangely quiet over the past two summers. When teams went out to study the pods and record their vocalizations as part of their normal research routine, they were surprised at how little the cetaceans were communicating with each other: More