Pods of Submarine killers

Barbara10Broek By Barbara10Broek, 8th Dec 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/19j08rlb/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Science>Nature

Discusses killer whales, known as Orcas and their hunting.

The formidable hunting techniques of the killer whale

Although they never attack people, and kill only when they are hungry, from the point of view of other marine creatures, killer whales would certainly live up to their name. They hunt down a large variety of prey, ranging in size from small salmon to the blue whale, which is, at nearly 100 feet in length, the largest creature that has ever lived on earth.

Other important items in their diet are penguins, sharks, squid, dolphins and porpoises, seals and sea lions, and turtles. And their appetites are prodigious. A large killer whale can easily swallow a porpoise or seal whole. The stomach of one was found to contain the remains of 14 seals and 13 porpoises, while another revealed 30 seals.

Team workers

Measuring up to 31 feet long and armed with 40 to 50 large conical teeth, each 2 inches in diameter, killer whales or orcas, are the largest member of the dolphin family. They can weigh between seven and 10 tons. Widely distributed throughout the world's oceans, they are highly efficient whopper to the hunters, they been in packs, or pods, of a few 250 individuals.

Scientist believe that the members of a pod are probably related to one another. They remain together for life. A pod may combine with other pods, but only if they are members of the same local community. Each pod has its own dialect of whistles, clicks and pulsed calls, which helped the whales to communicate with one another and find prey by natural sonar. A pod often swims in rows or in a single line.

Killer whales can visually detect prey by spy hopping, resting vertically in the water with their heads in the air.

The methods they employ in the hunt itself are cunning and ruthless. A pod will methodically heard a group of salmon or other fish, cornering them into bays and posting centuries to cut off their escape. When they attack a great whale, based around and harry it, and finally drown it by throwing themselves over the whale’s blowhole to prevent it breathing. To devour such large prey, they tear off great strips of flesh with their sharp teeth by shaking their heads from side to side. A delicacy of which they are reported to be particularly fond is the blue whales tongue

Even when their prey is out of the water, killer whales have devised ingenious ways of getting at it. When they spot pain ones or seals on the surface ice, killer whales will dive deep below them, then swim upwards at great speed smashing through ice as fake as 3 feet and put being in their unwary prey into the water. If they spot a seal breeding ground on a beach, they sometimes move close inshore and cruise up and down in the shallow water, and till the panic stricken seals attempt to escape through the surf, where they can be snapped up by their resource will tormentors.

Tags

Feed, Hunt, Hunters, Hunting, Orca, Whales

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author avatar Barbara10Broek
Professional Librarian and freelance writer. Home Page: http://barbaratenbroekfreelancewriter.yolasite.com/

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Comments

author avatar Jerry Walch
8th Dec 2010 (#)

Well researched and written, Barbara. Your expertise an a librarian shows through.

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author avatar Denise O
8th Dec 2010 (#)

Barbara, I agree with Jerry 100%.
I always love to read your articles. I learn something new each time.
Keep them coming, I need to fill up some space in my ol'noggin.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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