Orcas that hunted alongside humans could be extinct

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A mysterious population of killer whales said to have hunted alongside indigenous Australian whalers for millennia and European whalers for decades appears to be extinct, genetic analysis has revealed.

The coastal Thaua people, part of the Yuin nation, sang to beowas (killer whales) as they hunted baleen whales together for generations in Turembulerrer (Double) Bay off eastern Australia. Orcas took only the lips and tongues of slaughtered whales in a mutually beneficial exchange called the “Law of Tongue,” according to a study published Oct. 12 in the journal Heritage Magazine.

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