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Orca whales travel in groups called pods. Within these pods, there is a social hierarchy. Being in large groups adds to its protection, and it also helps taking down larger prey.
Female killer whale tosses piece of gray whale blubber
out of water while feeding, scattering the gulls.
Picture copyright Nancy Black.
Happy New Year’s to our wonderful followers! All the best for 2013.
Killer Whale is the common term for Orca Whale, which was derived from it’s latin name, Orcinus Orca.
Which is translated to, “whale from the underworld of the dead”.
Orcas, or Killer Whales, whichever you prefer, are actually pretty nice. The majority of orcas live on a diet of fish, and maybe a few sea birds when they visit the surface. They don’t always shy away from humans, in fact the Kwakwaka’wakw people used to to scoot around orcas in canoes, and the whales always let them be.
The ‘killer’ part comes in, with transient orcas.
Transient orcas live in smaller pods, and live on a mostly warm blooded diet of seals, sea lions, otters, dolphins, porpoises, and, you guessed it, whales.
Transient DNA is actually different than the normal, fish eating orcas, showing that some time many years ago, they branched off, and evolved differently.
Transients are so different, that when captured in captivity, if fed only fish, they will refuse to touch it. Several transient whales have died in captivity when the captors were unaware that they were trying to feed a transient whale, instead of the more common fish eating orcas.
Killer Whales: pretty cool dudes.