orca alaska

Science

Killer Whales Attack a Sea Lion in Alaska

3 Aug , 2015  


These whales really are working to earn their name. Andrew Harpster, a whale tour captain out of Juneau, Alaska got this footage of a pack of them attacking lone Stellar Sea Lion. Killer Whales are interesting creatures- although they’ve been revered as murders in western culture since 70 AD when Pliny the Elder wrote , “Orcas (the appearance of which no image can express, other than an enormous mass of savage flesh with teeth) are the enemy of [other whales]… they charge and pierce them like warships ramming.” there is no actual account of a Killer Whale actually killing a human being, although that truth hardly mattered to this (most likely) deceased sea lion.

Interestingly enough, there is insufficient data as to the conservation status of Killer Whales, not because we lack the data to understand, roughly, how many Killer Whales exist, but, rather, because there most likely are at least two species of Killer Whale and the delineation between the two is murky, at best.

There are thee types of Killer Whales- in this video, they are described as Transient. The two remaining types are Resident and Offshore with each title having its own important characteristics.

Resident: The most common Killer Whale- these animals live in pods off the coast of British Columbia and visit the same areas routinely. Over the past 30 years. according to Killer Whales: The Natural History and Genealogy of Orcinus Orca in British Columbia and Washington, researchers have named 300 Resident Killer Whales.

Transient: Like the whales in the video below, these animals rove the Western Coast of North America, being seen as far south as California. They lack familiar bonds that are present with Resident Killer Whales and, where as Resident Killer Whales will eat fish and squid, these rely almost exclusively on marine mammals for food, giving them what is sometimes described as a sadistic twinge.

Offshore: Offshore Killer Whales are similar to Resident Killer Whales, but do not live on the coast, instead opting for off shore grounds. These whales populate in larger ground than both Resident and Transient, sometimes being counted in groups are large as 200.

If you’ve ever had an interaction with Killer Whales, please comment below to further the discussion.

 

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Walter Blake Knoblock By  -    
Walter Blake Knoblock is a lot of things. Follow him on twitter @WBKnoblock and on