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Species: Orca General Characteristics Did you know? Chris, Joe, Yena, Emily Killer Whales (Orca) Apex predator (They have no natural predators)
Black back, white chest & side, white patch above and behind the eye.
Males:20-26ft, 5-6tons. Females:16-23ft, 3-4tons.
Top speed: 56 km/hour.
Good eyesight, hearing, and echolocation.
Average lifespan: 50 yrs of age.
Complex social structures
Very intelligent! Habitat & Diet Habitat
Found throughout all the world's oceans.
but they prefer higher latitudes and coastal areas. Study Robert L. Pitman & John W. Durban found something special
about killer whale They cooperate when hunting! So How Do they Cooperate? Uh oh..! Like what? Diet
On average, a killer whale eats 227 kilograms (500 lb) each day. They are actually
the largest species of dolphin! Killer whales are NOT
whales! How did they study this? Killer Whales using unique "WAVE-WASH" hunting technique to outsmart Seals Delphinidae This is called "spy-bobbing" The whales send out scouts to bob up & down at surface The entire pod of whales swims about 100m away from the target ice flow to gain momentum they then abruptly turn around & aggressively
swim back directly at the ice flow in unison. to spot potential prey resting on floating ice. When they are just in front of the ice sheet.. they all dive very steeply pumping their flukes Method They eat varied prey including Seals and penguins Yum! as they all pass underneath and around the ice sheet. Would you like to see? Results Observations were made from boat, in Lauebuf Fjord, a body of water in Antarctica.
Assumed to be observing normal hunting habits as whales seemed oblivious of the boat
Counted how many different animals were seen, and recorded how many were killed and eaten In areas of ice, the killer whales fanned out when traveling, but when in open water they stayed in a tight formation.
This was do to the fact that they were spying and looking for seals on ice.
After finding a seal, the whale takes a few more bobs and then dives down into the water, the scientist assume to vocalize their find to the pod After this more whales would come and look, then began wave-washing, or move on and continue hunting.
Of all Seals killed 12/14 (86%) were taken of floating ice sheets by cooperative wave-washing-technique. So why is this important? The degree to which PI killer whales preferentially target Weddell seals could have important ecological implications for both species.
Killer Whales are much smarter than most people believe, they use their advanced communication skills and social networks to develop unique hunting strategies. These hunting strategies, especially the wave-wash have been observed by no other organism, and may vary between differing pods and are specific to prey type.
These sophisticated strategies are also being taught to young Whales and remain in the social network throughout many generations. References Burnett, E. 2009. "Orcinus orca" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 30, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Orcinus_orca/Pitman, R. L. and Durban, J. W. (2012), Cooperative hunting behavior, prey selectivity and prey handling by pack ice killer whales (Orcinus orca), type B, in Antarctic Peninsula waters. Marine Mammal Science, 28: 16–36. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2010.00453.xSMITH, T. G., D. B. SINIFF, R. REICHLE, and S. STONE. 1981. Coordinated behavior of killer whales, Orcinus orca, hunting a crabeater seal, Lobodon carcinophagus. Can. J. Zool. 59: 1185- 1189. http://www.arkive.org/orca/orcinus-orca/image-A14881.html#text=Allhttp://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/frozen-planet/videos/killer-whales-wave-wash-seal.htmhttp://www.kayakingtours.com/orca-tours/images/resting_killer_whaleslg.jpghttp://www.seaworld.org/animal-info/info-books/killer-whale/conservation.htm Thank you! what the fluke? This action generates a huge wave that washes over the ice flow dislodging the orca's prey The pod then swarms the location of where the seal entered the water, and reap their reward Click here Who am I? I am a mammal but have very little hair AND
I have the 2nd heaviest brain among marine mammals.