The world's oldest known killer whale is presumed dead

The world's oldest known killer whale is missing and is feared to be dead.

The female orca is officially known as J2, but more affectionately called Granny. According to BBC, Granny is estimated to be older than 100 years old.

The mammal was the star of a BBC documentary that followed her clan of orcas and explored the topic of menopause.

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Granny the killer whale
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Granny the killer whale

A pair of Killer Whales surfaces near the west coast of San Juan Island, Washington. Ruffles and his mother Granny.

(Mlharing via Getty Images)

Granny J2, born ~1911, southern resident killer whale matriarch.

(aquagreenmarine via Getty Images)

Male killer whale born 1992, travels with Granny J2.

(aquagreenmarine via Getty Images)

Granny J2, born ~1911, female southern resident killer whale matriarch, Salt Spring Island, BC.

(aquagreenmarine via Getty Images)

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Orcas, short finned pilot whales and humans are the only three known mammals to experience menopause.

The research conducted in the documentary played a crucial role in understanding the family role that matriarch orcas play in a clan.

Lead evolutionary biology researcher professor Darren Croft of the University of Exeter said of the news, "it was inevitable that this day was going to come but it is very sad news and a further blow to this population."

The Center for Whale Research, which has been studying Granny for forty years, first reported her death on their website.

Croft added "although J2 is gone we will continue to benefit, for many decades to come, from the incredible data collected on her life over the last 40 years by the Center for Whale Research."

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Orcas
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Orcas
An orca swims at the Marineland animal exhibition park in the French Riviera city of Antibes, southeastern France, on December 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
MARCH 20, 2014. SAN DIEGO, CA. During a night time performance at Shamu Stadium, a trained orca killer whale leaps above the pool at Sea World, San Diego, CA on March 20, 2014. In the aftermath of the documentary 'Blackfish', critics are suggesting an end to keeping whales captive for entertainment. (Photo by Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Orcas perform on August 11, 2013 at the Marineland animal exhibition park in the French Riviera city of Antibes, southeastern France. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Big Orca Sunset Spyhop
An orca swims with its calf at the Marineland animal exhibition park in the French Riviera city of Antibes, southeastern France, on December 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Female orca Wikie swims with her calf born by artificial insemination on April 19, 2011 at Marineland animal exhibition park in the French Riviera city of Antibes, southeastern France. Born on March 16, the two metre long baby weighing 150 kilos hasn't yet been called. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Orca killer whale (Orcinus orca), headshot
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