They’re not called killer whales for nothing, and this video proves that orcas should absolutely not be messed with. In the video, a group of three orca whales totally massacre a great white shark. The orcas dwarf the shark, as they usually grow about 10 to 12 feet longer than great whites.
Two orcas begin by circling their prey, and then one comes up from below, taking a bite out of the shark. Blood blooms in the water, and the shark rolls over on its side. The third orca seems to almost be swimming on its back as it drags the shark down to the depths. The orcas then take turns at their prey, diving down to grab bites.
The three mammals swim away then, having had their fill. This is a prime example of orca hunting techniques. They always work in groups of two or more, stunning their prey with tail strikes before devouring. Being apex predators, there is nothing that hunts these mammals, and so they have their choice of prey. They mostly eat fish and seals, but, judging by this video, they won’t say no to a little shark pâté.
Frequently, orcas will work in tandem to create waves that knock seals off of sheets of sea ice, landing them in the dangerous waters. Other times, orcas will purposefully beach themselves to snatch sea lions, then wriggle back into the ocean. While there’s only been one reported attack on a human from a wild orca, it’s still best to stay clear of these huge, powerful animals. They’re smart and curious, but they’re still wild. We should want to do everything in our power to keep them that way.
Orca Whales Have the Most Developed Insular Cortex in the World and Other Reasons Why They’re the Coolest
I may be biased, as orcas are pretty high on the list of my favorite animals. But, really, how can you not think they’re the absolute coolest? Orcas have the second largest brains of all marine mammals, weighing in at 15 pounds. According to Orca Nation, parts of their brains are highly developed, such as the paralimbic system, which helps spatial awareness and navigation; the amygdala which affects emotional learning and long-term memory; and the insular cortex, which creates their amazing capacity for emotions like compassion, grief, self-awareness, and empathy.
Orca whales are extremely social animals. Their pods aren’t just a random amalgamation of animals, which is what you could call the SeaWorld collection. They have deep family ties with different dialects of vocalization. According to the National Wildlife Federation, each family in a pod can be traced back four generations. These are highly emotionally intelligent, social creatures, surrounded by rich lore and beliefs in a lot of different cultures. To keep them in captivity is an insult to their species.