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Killer Whales Visit Marina del Rey

The orcas are identified by researcher Alisa Schulman-Janiger as members of the CA51 matriline, so named after the mother of the group, CA51.

Photo via American Cetacean Society - Los Angeles Chapter Facebook page
Photo via American Cetacean Society - Los Angeles Chapter Facebook page
By Nicole Mooradian

A familiar family of orcas was spotted near Marina del Rey and the Palos Verdes Peninsula on Nov. 29 and Nov. 30.

The orcas were identified by researcher Alisa Schulman-Janiger through pictures as members of the CA51 matriline, so named after the mother of the group, CA51. 

"The orcas were generally headed slowly (southeast), stopping often to mill and perhaps feed,"Schulman-Janiger wrote on the American Cetacean Society - Los Angeles Chapter Facebook page. "They were within a mile of shore much of the time."

The orcas were also playing in the wake of whale-watching boat The Christopher, based out of Harbor Breeze Cruises in Long Beach. According to a Facebook post from the organization, whale watchers spotted a total of four orcas.

Schulman-Janiger surmised that the orcas will next head down to Orange County.

The CA51 group is no stranger to the area. In December 2012, the orcas made headlines when one bumped a whale-watching boat off the Peninsula.

Though they're commonly known as killer whales, orcas are actually the largest member of the dolphin family. They can eat about 500 pounds—or 5 percent of their body weight—daily and swim up to 30 miles per hour.

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