A1 Pod - A12 Matriline

The matriarch A12 is called "Scimitar" because her dorsal fin has the distinctive curved shape of the sword. Born in 1941, she had two youngsters with her when she was first seen in the early 1970s... her sons A31 (Pulteney) and A33 (Nimpkish). In 1975 her daughter Simoom (A34) was born. For many years the profile of the family was that of a mum with two growing sons and a daughter swimming beside her. When the sons became adults and Simoom started having her own babies, the picture of the A12s was that of a perfect orca family. Nimpkish became "Uncle 33" because he spent much of his time with young Echo, while his brother Pulteney continued being his mum's closest companion. Pulteney died in 1997 at age 39. Today, the family's focus has shifted to the new generation of Simoom and her 5 babies, though granny Scimitar and Nimpkish are always nearby, too. Simoom is a special mum to us partly because of the timing of the birth dates of her babies... all five were born in late October or early November! In 2005 A62, Misty had her first born A83. From now on this matriline counts 4 generations.
In 2006 the fourth youngster of Simoom, A74 Stormy was missing. He is considered dead by now at the age of 6.
Source: Orcalab

Video of the A12 matriline in the Robson Bight. Recorded September 2000 from the Lukwa.

Distinctive calls

All three matrilines, but in particular the A12 matriline, produced a rendition of call type N5, first described by Ford 1987. This N5iii, also known as “A12special” among local researchers, is a relatively long call with a sharp initial rise of
the fundamental of the repetition rate to 1118±63 Hz and a
gradual rise to 1709±185 Hz.

The repertoire of the A1 pod consists of the following 14 discrete calls:
N1i, N2, N3, N4, N5i, N7i, N7ii, N8i, N9i, N10, N11i, N12, N27 and N47

The calls N1i, N9i, N27 and N47 are exclusive for A1 pod. The other 10 calls are shared with at least the A4s and A5s.

The calls N2, N4, N7i and N10 are also made by the A4s and A5s.
The calls N3 and N12 are made by all the A clan groups.
The call N5i are also made by the A4s, A5s, Bs, Hs and I1s
The call N7ii are also made by the A4s, A5s and I1s
The cal N8i are also made by the A4s, A5s and Hs
The call N11i are also made by the A4s, A5s and Bs

More calls of the A12s


A12 Scimitar F:1941

A12 scimitar
A12 Scimitar was born in 1941
Scimitar (A12), is the matriarch of the A12 Matriline. The code shown above her name (F:1941) indicates that she is female and scientists estimate she was born in 1941. The two whales shown below are her two surviving offspring Nimpkish (A33) and Simoom (A34). As with many killer whales in the resident population, Nimpkish (A33) and Simoom's (A34) father is unknown.

A31 Pulteney M:1958-1997


A33 Nimkish M:1971

A33 nimpkish
Nimpkish (A33) is an adult male killer whale thought to have been born in 1971. He will travel with his mother Scimitar (A12) and sister Simoom (A34) and her offspring throughout his life.


A34 Simoom F:1975

A34 Simoom
Simoom (A34) is an adult female killer whale born in 1975. The five whales shown below Simoom (A34) are her offspring

A55 Echo M:1990

A55 Echo
Echo (A55) sprouting

A55 Echo
Echo (A55) is a young male killer whale born in 1990. Normally researchers would have had to wait until Echo reached sexual maturity, at around age 14, to determine his gender but new techniques in DNA sampling have allowed them to determine the gender of Echo (A55), his sisters Misty (A62) and Eclipse (A67).


A62 Misty F:1993

A62 Misty
Misty (A62) is a young female killer whale born in 1993. DNA sampling has shown that Misty's father is a whale known as W2 who is part of R-Clan.
In 2005 Misty (A62) get her first calf Dusky (A83)
A62 Misty
This photo shows Misty (A62) when she was a calf

A67 Eclipse F:1996

A67 Eclips
Eclipse (A67) is a young female killer whale born in 1996. Like her grandmother Scimitar (A12),her mother Simoom (A34)and her sister Misty (A62), she will likely become a mother and may eventually become a matriarch of her own Matriline.

A67 Eclipse
Eclipse (A67) when she was a calf


A74 Stormy ?:2000-2006

A74 Stormy
Orcalab reports:

In addition to the loss of C21 (from the C6s) and A59 (from the A35s), it looks like A74, Stormy (from the A34/A12s) is also gone. This is the first A34 calf, that we know of, to have died. The report comes from Graeme Ellis. Graeme remarked that he was surprised as A74 had seemed to be very robust & energetic last Fall and was showing that he was a very good hunter. We personally have felt a strong connection to A34, as most of her calves have been born in the Fall and in this area. And this has meant that we have seen her calves very soon after their birth. Stormy was most likely born shortly after a large superpod swept through Johnstone Strait on August 20, 2000. At that time, some of the groups (including the A12s), travelled all the way east to Campbell River. When the A12s returned "up the Strait", a short while later, Stormy was there! We will never know what happened to Stormy but the news about Quadra (C21) and Canoona (A82) is a reminder to us all that the orcas are vulnerable. Their home has become a busy, hectic, noisy place.


A80 Hope ?:2004

A80 Hope

A83 Dusky ?:2005

A83 Dusky