Happy International Women's Day! Sketched by me and coloured in by my daughter whilst learning about their conservation, the first drawing celebrates orca whales.
Did you know that killer whales are matriarchal with a strong hierarchy and are also one of the only known few species to have menopause, along with humans?
As females killer whales can live up to ninety years in the wild, it's been discovered that grandmothers should invest their energy in their grandchildren rather than continuing to produce more of their own babies. This is called 'The Grandmother Effect'.
Another interesting thing about orcas is that males stay with their mother's pod, and even after procreating with a female from a separate family group, he would return to his birth pod for support and guidance on where to find the best food sources from his mother and grandmother (https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/killer-whale-behaviour-shows-granny-knows-best.html ).
My daughter created the second drawing independently after we'd been talking about the importance of International Women’s Day, and has championed her favourite female scientists here; Jane Goodall, Mary Anning and Marie Curie, for women in science (she has a collection of Little People Big Dreams books about female scientists) for Women's History Month. We're working on the spelling!
So, today we’re celebrating female killer whales, female scientists and each and every woman in the world for all of the incredible things they manage to do on a daily basis.
It is also good to note that plastic pollution, overfishing, and whaling are adversely affecting killer whale populations, so it’s an idea to be mindful of them today, too.