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Killer Whales

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Mulvil
949662.  Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:16 am Reply with quote

Surely plenty of information out there about these. They are the top predators in the ocean.

Even though Sperm Whales are much larger they are almost defenseless against the quicker and more agile Orcinus Orca. Killer whales also hunt in packs and use some very clever methods to hunt. One of these methods is to use bubbles to trap/stun prey. They are also quiet adept at hunting in very shallow waters.

This is my first post in years on here and I'll add to it later.

 
Jenny
949670.  Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:28 am Reply with quote

Welcome back Mulvil :-)

 
Mulvil
949695.  Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:47 pm Reply with quote

Thanks,

I have a bit of a habit of not logging on for ages and then coming back.

 
djgordy
949715.  Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:23 pm Reply with quote

Giant panda - black and white = all cuddly.
Killer whales - black and white = not at all cuddly.

 
Posital
949732.  Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:46 pm Reply with quote

Killer Whales are more large dolphins than small whales...

 
Mulvil
955630.  Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:14 pm Reply with quote

Killer Whales, famously, beach themselves to catch seals and the like. We've all seen such footage in nature documentaries.

Now it seems that catfish are getting in on the act to catch pigeons.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2012/12/11/166865309/pigeon-interuptus-a-fish-that-hunts-pigeons-on-land

 
iansonuk
955633.  Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:22 pm Reply with quote

From what I recall from watching BBC wildlife documentaries, Orcas will attack female sperm whales and their young, but flee when faced with the rather more aggressive (and toothier) Bulls.

 
Mulvil
955649.  Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:27 pm Reply with quote

iansonuk wrote:
From what I recall from watching BBC wildlife documentaries, Orcas will attack female sperm whales and their young, but flee when faced with the rather more aggressive (and toothier) Bulls.


I read a few months ago in "New Zealand Geographic" magazine (or something like that) that although Sperm Whales are the largest predators in the world, they are not the top predators.

Groups of Orcas will attack groups of Sperm Whales which, owing to their more cumbersome physique, are rendered defenseless. The Sperm whales configure themselves in a circle, and in an upright direction while the Orcas drag one Sperm Whale out of the defensive formation. The Sperm Whales will place the young and weak on the inside of the circle but essentially its just a matter of time before the Orcas take one.

Its a few months since I read the article though so I might not be describing it all that well.


EDIT:
In fact it was part of issue but you have to subscribe to read it.

 
iansonuk
955932.  Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:54 pm Reply with quote

The view put forward in 'Whales, Whaling and Ocean Ecosystems' is to the effect that while female sperm whales and their calves are not immune to predation by Orcas, they are by no means defenceless. Adult bull sperm whales are at one point opined to be "too strong for killer whales and thus immune to attack".

(see:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=daY_utPoJGAC&pg=PA179&lpg=PA179&dq=%22sperm+whale%22+%22killer+whale%22+predator+male&hl=en#v=onepage&q=%22sperm%20whale%22%20%22killer%20whale%22%20predator%20male&f=false

see page 178-179 for the relevant discussion).

 
Starfish13
956083.  Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:52 am Reply with quote

Mulvil wrote:
Groups of Orcas will attack groups of Sperm Whales which, owing to their more cumbersome physique, are rendered defenseless. The Sperm whales configure themselves in a circle, and in an upright direction while the Orcas drag one Sperm Whale out of the defensive formation. The Sperm Whales will place the young and weak on the inside of the circle but essentially its just a matter of time before the Orcas take one.


The defensive formation that the pod of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) adopts is called a marguerite, which if you knows your foreign, means "daisy". It has been observed that in some populations the marguerite is formed with the whales facing outward and in others with the whales facing inward to the centre of the circle, where calves are protected.

Orcas tend not to attack sperm whales, as they are a difficult and potentially dangerous prey when easier foraging is available. They also show a cultural preference in their diet and foraging behaviour, so only a few pods will have the knowledge/experience of knowing how to attack sperm whales.

 
Quibbler
962489.  Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:31 am Reply with quote

Mulvil wrote:
Surely plenty of information out there about these. They are the top predators in the ocean.


I think Killers Whales would make a good topic. Killer Whales are not whales but dolphins. They are also part of a group of 6 species called black fish, despite the fact they are mammals and not black, or fish. Didn't QI also point out that fish do not even exist in a previous series?

A good opportunity for laying a trap for Alan Davis I suspect.

 
AlmondFacialBar
962500.  Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:12 am Reply with quote

For German ears the idea of a female spermwhale is always somewhat gigglesome... ;-) We call them Pottwale (pot whales) for the pot-like shape of the head.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
JamesRedwood
1107614.  Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:13 am Reply with quote

As mentioned in the Killer episode, Orca can develop new ways of hunting different prey and they are very good at teaching each other how to do each new technique. As a result different pods around the world have different techniques and a different range of prey. In New Zealand Dr Ingrid Visser has discovered the pods have developed several unique ways of hunting rays, including flipping them over. This renders them immobile (tonic immobility) even if uninjured, allowing the orca to continue hunting befoer going back and collecting the flipped rays at their leisure.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TL4HkLG7Rsk

 

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