just passing through
January 16, 2016 11:22 AM   Subscribe

 
Interesting. I'm surprised about the difference in diet between the 'transients' and 'residents'.
I remember the first time I saw a picture of an orca getting a seal or sea-lion that was well up on the beach. It's a pretty impressive feat. (must have been a Biggs)
posted by MtDewd at 11:56 AM on January 16, 2016


Amazing. I was weirdly shocked by this.
posted by Seamus at 12:03 PM on January 16, 2016


All I'm thinking about now is how sometimes in videos about the Pacific NW/Alaska/BC one can see black bears, sometimes grizzlies, swimming in the ocean. So do bears ever get eaten? Are there ever orca/grizzly fights? Would that be awesome or terrible or terribly awesome?
posted by barchan at 12:06 PM on January 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


Christ, you're telling me that Free Willy is actually about the misguided attempt to set free a cannibalistic deer-hunting dude from prison - where he actually belongs?!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:15 PM on January 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


"And then we'd make some sort of breathing apparatus ... out of kelp"
posted by zippy at 12:30 PM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bambi v Shamu: Dawn of Lunch
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:38 PM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Obviously my spirit animal.
posted by transient at 12:40 PM on January 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Today I Learned to never, ever go in the ocean or even near it. I'm too close now, to be honest.
posted by tommasz at 1:02 PM on January 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


There has never been a case of killer whales in the wild killing a human.

Occasionally empty kayaks, but merely a coincidence.
posted by BlueHorse at 1:26 PM on January 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


An orca hunted Richard Harris in 1977.
posted by maxsparber at 4:09 PM on January 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


I've often wondered if the reason there aren't reported human-orca confrontations is because:
A) most human encounters are with orca are resident orcas.
B) dead men tell no tales.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 4:20 PM on January 16, 2016


From the first link:

Flash forward some 40 years to 2013. Dr. Peter Ross’ work with Fisheries and Oceans Canada has been terminated as part of what can only be called the demise of Canada’s ocean contaminants research program and prior to his termination he, like so many other government scientists in Canada, has been constrained in being able to communicate about his research.

Of course, because at this point you have to expect that any story about any animal native to Canada must have at least some connection to a casualty of Stephen Harper's blind, seething hatred of science and all life on earth.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 5:39 PM on January 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I love killer whales so much. They are the best. Thanks for making this fpp!

Interesting. I'm surprised about the difference in diet between the 'transients' and 'residents'.

This is a mostly uneducated guess, but having watched my fair share of killer whale documentaries, I've learned that resident whales often become experts at hunting particular types of prey; this knowledge then gets passed down from generation to generation due to the "pod loyalty" that orcas have.

For example, New Zealand killer whales have learned how to catch and kill sting rays, which is not an easy task. (That clip is from a documentary called Swimming with Killer Whales which you can watch in full on Netflix instant. It's awesome.)

Anyway, since the transient whales move around so much, perhaps they've specifically evolved to just catch whatever they can get, whereas residents have learned to specialize.

I can't find the video right now, but I remember seeing a neat clip where two orcas teamed up to catch a seal hanging out on a block of ice. One whale sort of popped up on the edge of the block of ice to scare the seal, who naturally fled in the opposite direction, directly into the mouth of the second whale who was waiting for it to do just that.

Here's a different clip of killer whales teaming up to catch a seal in a slightly different way. Warning: don't watch if you don't want to see a cute seal get trapped by several orcas. I'll admit that even though I absolutely adore killer whales, I do also feel kind of bad for the poor seal. But, you know, the circle of life, survival of the fittest, etc.

I remember the first time I saw a picture of an orca getting a seal or sea-lion that was well up on the beach.

This may not be the clip you're thinking of, but this video shows killer whales purposely beaching themselves to catch prey. (Same warning about cute seals being eaten applies to this clip as well.)

As a kid, I really, really wanted to grow up and be a killer whale trainer at Sea World. It was pretty depressing to grow up and realize that Sea World is actually a horribly destructive place for my beloved orcas. So now I just fantasize about meeting killer whales in the wild.
posted by litera scripta manet at 1:05 PM on January 17, 2016


I just saw a comment on a killer whale video that referred to them as "Sea Pandas" which I love. From now on, they will always be Sea Pandas to me.
posted by litera scripta manet at 1:06 PM on January 17, 2016


At the end of the first article, there's a link about orcas "beach-rubbing", in which they come terrifyingly close to people chilling on the beach making movies. Not in an aggressive way, it seems, but if I spot orcas coming into the shallows, you can bet I'll be backing far away from the water line. Eep.

It is crazy scary how smart and cooperative they are. If I meet them in the wild, I hope I'm in a nice big boat. Ok, medium boat would be fine :)
posted by ktkt at 3:22 AM on January 18, 2016


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