Here lately, scientists have witnessed large pods of orcas attacking and killing blue whales, by a combination of ramming, strategic biting and suffocation off the coast of Australia.
The clip below contains three rare segments of footage that document how orcas gang up to take down huge blue whales that are many times their size and weight.
These attacks involve as few as 14 and as many as 70 orcas. They attack the whale’s tail and dorsal fin to slow it down while others ram the whale, cover its blowhole and not let it surface for air. It seems to be a well orchestrated, even practiced procedure. In fact, a few of the attacks were documented to involve 12 or so orcas that were known to have done this before.
This rarely observed behavior is some what of a shock, or should I say surprise to the scientific community. Nonetheless, the frequency of these events seem to be on the rise.
It is thought that blue whale populations is beginning to recover from near extinction and that their increasing numbers are making these events more visible.
Watch these orcas in action in the clip below.
Orcas are known as “Wolves of the Sea”
The combination of their size, strength and agility along with their high degree of intelligence makes orcas top predators. They basically learn and pass along their hunting skills and food preferences. Its kind of a scary thought that makes one imagine what would happen if they learned about what we are doing to their food sources and environment. The recent attacks on sailboats by pods of orcas off Portugal may be a sign that they have.