Orcas Work Together for Adorably Tasty Meal

A pod of Orcas surrounds a seal on an ice sheet and creates waves to try and knock it off. This reminds me of when you buy a candy bar and it gets stuck by the wrapper and you have to shake the machine to get it out.

Thanks to Zooillogix reader extraordinaire Don Quixjote (aka ali) for forwarding along.

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Nice video! Back in my undergraduate days, I was a tour guide at the Ocean Sciences Center in St. John's, Newfoundland which is a research facility. We'd take the public on little 45 minute interpretive tours of the facility as outreach, let them see a room of cold-water aquaria, the few seals we had in an enclosure for research, and some whale exhibits.

Once, my co-worker was giving the 'whale talk' and a VERY angry woman started screaming at him, because a) He called it a "Killer Whale" rather than an orca and b) Because he was mis-informing the public. She stood up in front of the tour group and said something along the lines of "These are lies! They're not killers! They're KIND and GENTLE animals." when my friend tried to tell her that she was mistaken, and that they were indeed carnivores, she told the (baffled) crowd that they "Ate kelp".

I wish I could have shown her this video :)

You may have broke the whale story, Mark, but you didn't break the Megalodon video. It's the video of the week in the top sidebar. Chew on that!

If you saw what they do to their food when it is still alive, playing with it and playiing "fling the seal" for up to half an hour before consumption, you'd hork up a lung just watching--it's pretty gruesome.

This was relatively tame (thank goodness, or I'd never have been able to watch it.)

By Pat King (Deering) (not verified) on 19 Dec 2007 #permalink

I think I saw that video or at least the same source material on Engadget a few months ago. Note that the seal is actually still alive at the end and back on the ice floe, suggesting that the Orcas weren't actually going for a meal.

I remember some video series that used to be advertised on Nickelodeon when I was wee and playing hooky from school. It was called something like 'Killers of the Wild' and one of the clips was of an Orca partially beaching itself in a seal colony and just going to town, mowing on seal pups like my dad on hushpuppies. Horrifying, especially for a children's network during the day. Ah, the eighties.

I've been afraid of orcas ever since, especially since you can't see their eyes. Very Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors. 'Feed Me Seal Meat!'

There was a mishap in Sea World few years ago, some twit jumped into the pool because "he wanted his family to take a video as he is swimming with orcas". Needles to say his family took a video of him being bitten by orcas into two equal halves. (The family then proceeded to sue the Sea World for presencting killer whales as smart fun-loving animals...)

Orcas apparently can develop taste for oranges - I have seen video from some bay in Greenland where the orcas were taught to exhibit themselves for turist cruise ships. They became very fond of oranges - eaten whole of course, without much ill effect. It must have the been orca's equivalent of tic-tac breath fresheners.

There was the one in the late nineties too, when the homeless man hid in the park and waited for it to close before leaping into the water. The coroner's finding was that the fellow had died of hypothermia, mercifully before the whales had started batting him around for fun. It was big news then.

He was a drifter that briefly lived in my home town of West Palm Beach at a Buddhist collective, and he was kicked out for not trying to find enlightenment or helping with the daily chores by the others.

A pod of Orcas surrounds a seal on an ice sheet and creates waves to try and knock it off. This reminds me of when you buy a candy bar and it gets stuck by the wrapper and you have to shake the machine to get it out.

I hope the candy bar doesn't feel the same as the seal or I am going to have stop buying candy bars from that machine!
Dave Briggs :~)

By Dave Briggs (not verified) on 28 Dec 2007 #permalink

Excellent video. Some of the people in the background were wondering why the Orcas didn't just break the ice floe. I'm thinking that might be because it's actually too thick -- does anyone know how thick a floe like that is typically? I would guess 5 or 6 feet.

My question would be why they didn't just run up on the ice to nab the seal if that was their goal. Definitely just messing with the seal. So kind and gentle, those orcas.

Did you happen to watch the other one that is linked to this video? Where the orca follows the boat with the dog barking at it? Again, if the orca had wanted a meal, a little more swish in its tail would have done the trick.

Thanks for the links!

By ifihadahammer (not verified) on 16 Feb 2008 #permalink