The Southern Resident orcas have strong social networks, writes Sarah DeWeerdt for Encyclopedia of Puget Sound, from the Puget Sound Institute, University of Washington. Sarah’s piece tells detailed family stories about orcas that bond in matriarchal groups, share food, and adopt motherless youngsters. Breakdowns in these social ties put the survival of these whales in danger, Sarah (@DeWeerdt_Sarah) writes. She gets inside information from regional scientists who keep a close eye on the orca pods and the health of their members. image: Rene Leubert (CC BY-NC 2.0)