4 Fun Facts About Whales You Didn’t Know
July 30, 2017
The mere size of a Killer Whale is striking, but there are many more amazing features that make these awesome creatures stand out. The reason people are so fascinated with whales and go on whale watching trips is because they are such powerful and incredible creatures. The size of them is one thing, but what else makes killer whales unbelievable?
They can be individually ID’d by their features
What makes identifying a killer whale possible is the shape of the white/grey saddle patch at the base of their fin. We can also take into account unique marks and scars on the whale’s dorsal fin too. Researchers have compiled a catalogue of 500+ whales using photo identification. This information allows us to see the species social groups, populations, movements, and even calculate birth and death rates.
Killer Whales are EVERYWHERE
The only other mammal that is more widespread than killer whales is humans! Every single ocean around the world is inhabited by killer whales. A factor that has led this to happen is that instead of following normal migration routes, killer whales move to where the food is. This has allowed them to spread far and wide across the hemispheres.
Killer whales are smarter than they look
With a brain that can weigh up to 15 pounds, killer whales have the second-largest brains of all marine mammals. These guys are incredibly smart and are keen for sensing the world around them. They can sniff out salmon from half a football field away, teach each other specialized hunting techniques, and pass on behaviours that persist for generations. There are 3 unique populations of killer whales (residents, offshores, and transients) and they all have vastly different diets, languages, and behaviours. Genetically, all these whales are seemingly identical, thus proving that whales are a cultural species like humans. Quite fascinating when you think about it.
Killer Whales work together
Although you probably couldn’t guess it from their name, killer whales are deadly hunters. They are effective mostly because they work together to hunt. In their hunting pods (where the family group can be up to 40 whales) they rely on advanced techniques to hunt prey. For example, they can herd fish into small tight balls close to the surface or even strike sharks with their tail flukes before killing and eating them.
These fun facts are just a sample of what makes killer whales the amazing creatures that they are. Next time you are out on a White Rock Sea Tour you can even use these facts to sound like a whale expert to your friends or family. Book a tour today with our online booking to guarantee a spot!
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