a students' magazine / Science

The Killer Whale…

… or “Orcinus Orca” , is a sea mammal from the “Cetacea” order and the “Delphinidae” family, and a GREAT sea predator at the same level of the Great White Shark.

The Romans first gave the Killer Whale this name: Orcinus means a “demon coming from hell“.

Adult males of this species can reach the length of about 8 metres and the weight of about 6 tons.

Whales are animals used to live and hunt in group. The world population of whales is divided by researchers in two groups: residents and transients.

Each group has its own features, different diets (residents usually eat fish, while transients usually  eat sea mammals like seals, sea lions, etc.), different habits, different hunting techniques and so specimen belonging to each group won’t mix with one another.

As far as hunting techniques are concerned, whales are very original,  intelligent and cunning predators.

Let’s have a look at a killer whale attacking a ray

Whales blow energically underneath the seabed, making bubbles: in this way, the hidden rays come out. Clever, isn’t it? 😉

When it comes to bigger animals however, like sea lions, the technique is different…

While a male keeps on going up and down in front of the beach, attracting the attention of the little sea lions thanks to his tall dorsal fin, another male, hidden underwater, suddenly attacks them throwing himself on the beach.

I forgot to say that whales, like the other cetaceous, communicate with each other by means of whistles and sonic waves.

But I would like to talk to you in particular about this attack: according to me it is the best example that shows, unfortunately for the little seal, the incredible cunning of this animal and the incredible power of nature.

Life in group allows whales to make often spectacular combined attacks, as this video shows.

And now, what about a battle between a Great White and a Killer Whale? Who’ll be the winner, the king of the sea? Surely sharks are much less cunning than whales and their attacks are more violent.

Let’s have a look, here is also a little resume video of all the article:

However, I keep on thinking that this episode is only an unfortunate case… I can’t believe that The Great White is no more “The King of Sea” ;-).

Ryder

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2 thoughts on “The Killer Whale…

  1. Hi Ryder! I believe that the Great White Shark’ll justly keep on being in our minds “The king of the sea”…but we don’t have to underestimate killer whales, these dangerous animals (as we can understand from their name:)), very clever when they attack, and cunning, as you said…it is correct to say in their situation, that “the united we stand and divided we fall”, as a famous proverb tells us;)
    Congratulations for your interesting post:)

  2. I was really surprised watching this video! Orcas are smarter than i thought, and they also can fight against fearful sharks!!! Great work ryder 😉

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