Lodi Valley News.com

Complete News World

Jokes, Shark Feasts, Even Accents: Discover 5 Weird Orcas Behaviors |  Biodiversity

Jokes, Shark Feasts, Even Accents: Discover 5 Weird Orcas Behaviors | Biodiversity

Orcas are social animals with complex behaviors – Image: Ron Sanford / Getty Images

Recent attacks by orcas on boats in the region of Portugal and Spain have raised concerns about the behavior of these animals known as “killer whales”. After all, despite the nickname, such episodes are rare in history, and orcas (which are not actually whales, but are related to dolphins) are usually only violent with their prey in the seas.

In fact, such attacks may not be violent episodes, but “games” that animals play, as one of their complex social behaviors. a Smithsonian Mag I spoke with experts in marine biology to understand this and other strange behaviors of orcas, which are highly intelligent and sociable animals.

Check out some of the amazing things orcas can do:

They love “fads” including crashing boats

Killer whales are highly intelligent and sociable animals that pick up on behaviors from their peers. Smithsonian Mag cites a 1987 report in which an orca began carrying a dead salmon on its head. This “salmon hat” practice spread to two other groups before disappearing. Josh McInnes, a behavioral ecologist in the Marine Mammal Research Unit at the British Columbia Institute, says he’s seen orcas play similarly with jellyfish.

This may be the case with the recent attacks on boats by orcas, all of which took place in the Strait of Gibraltar area. Since 2020, reports have shown animals advancing on ships and tearing off rudder pieces. Orcas have taken down ships in the past, but the recent activity marks the first time the behavior appears to be spreading.

“usually, [o comportamento] “It doesn’t hit like that,” says Robert Pittman, a marine ecologist at Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute. But if [a matriarca] He finds something that interests them, then they can easily transfer that behavior to other group members,” he explains.

Orcas approach the ship. Their boat attacks have grown in recent years – Image: procreate/beyond Theboyes.com

Another possible explanation is that the behavior may result from the increased presence of ships among these threatened populations; competition for food with fishing boats; Or the orca’s response to being run over by a boat. Deborah Giles, director of science and research for Wild Orca, a conservation organization, also speculates that the orcas could be joking, as they zip around on the ship like a skateboard stuck to the back of a truck. “We’ve seen young animals stick to the back edge of a larger, older animal, and be taken for a ride,” she says.

See also  The doctor's cancer goes into remission after using an innovative treatment he created himself; Understands

They even eat great white sharks

Some orcas specialize in feeding on species like tuna, elephant seals, or even blue whales, but others focus on hunting sharks. In 2011, researchers first documented the behavior in the Pacific Ocean. Later, aerial footage showed orcas in Monterey Bay, California eating a great white shark. In the video, a shark is passed mouth-to-mouth between group members as they share the catch. Orcas in South Africa have also been seen killing sharks and tearing apart their highly nutritious livers.

Advanced and diversified fishing techniques

Orcas develop specialized tactics to hunt their local prey. Some eat fish and search for their targets, while others glide silently through the water to sneak up on seal pups. In the Southern Ocean, killer whales still create waves to force seals out of ice blocks, and then devour them.

If they have identified a worthy prey, they will not stop approaching even the coast of the continents. Orcas have been seen in several places darting on the beach to hunt. They catch seals or sea lions resting on the beach by surprise, snatch their prey and head back out to sea.

“Family Reunion” and “Greetings”

Even when not hunting, orcas can engage in other behaviors that reflect their complex social structures. One of the most mysterious is the “welcome ceremonies” observed among populations on the West Coast of the United States and Canada. Giles says it’s like a big family reunion

When two groups come into contact after not seeing each other for some time, the researcher says, the killer whales line up to “greet” the other group in more than 100 meters of water. They float by in parallel without major references, in what appears to be a gesture of mutual recognition.

See also  fish with human teeth surprise American fishermen; look at the pictures

After a few minutes, says Giles, the celebration turns from silence into something more like a party. Orcas swim on top of each other, calling, slapping each other’s tails and jumping out of the water. “It’s incredible behavior,” the scientist sums up. “I get goosebumps just thinking about it.”

They have specific “accents”.

Killer whales make a distinctive sound from other species of large marine mammals. Without vocal cords, they “talk” through the fleshy structures within the nasal cavity, and can produce a series of squeaks, clicks, and moans through them.

In the North Pacific, the researchers found that each group has a distinct vocal “signature,” which gives them a specific “dialect.” These differences are more pronounced as the distance between groups and families increases.

Scientists who study orcas suspect that individuals acquire these sounds from family members throughout their lives, sometimes from unknown killer whales. Animals also show the ability to mimic sounds from other species – including humans. These complex sounds may be key to how the animals enrich their social lives and coordinate their hunting.