Oh hello, enormous orca swimming right under our sea ice!
I feel a lot like the penguin in the foreground who is screaming ACK ACK ACK
I feel really bad for the sea lion that Seaworld forces to approach his/her natural predator.
Is it bad that I’m laughing extremely hard at how the orca just annihilates the sea lon in the 2nd gif?
all I can hear is NYOOM
You wanna know something cool? Recent studies of orcas seem to show that during the seal breeding season, they knowingly limit their intake of seals. In fact, there are documented cases of orcas gently grabbing seal pups and pulling them into shore to keep them safe from being eaten.
Why? You might wonder.
The case studies seem to say that the orcas know that no baby seals growing up means less seals next year. They are so intelligent that they’re aware of their own impact as a predatory species on their prey and actively work to conserve the number of that prey species for the future. Maybe we could learn something about moderation and conservation from these animals.
I’m telling you, orcas are smarter than us. And yet some people see no problem in treating them like circus clowns.
Deceased captive Northern Resident Orca Hyak 2.
Hyak was so huge.
If you look closely, you can see this transient killer whale has grabbed a Dall’s porpoise!
Image copyright Betty Sederquist.
Keiko in Mexico
As these photos clearly shows Keiko had no shadow over any part of his pool. Every single day for 11 years he was forced to be right in the baking Mexican sun. This would result in serious sun burns on his dorsal fin and back.
Keiko was captured in Iceland where orcas live in very cold water. He simply wasn’t build to live in the Mexico climate.
Keiko couldn’t even swim laps in his pool because if he moved too much in the sun his body would simply overheat. He had to remain still, logging at the surface all day long except for when he had to perform.
Keiko was also severly underweight for a male orca. He was in fact two tons underweight. Him being so underweight was a result of constant illness. Keiko suffered from ulcers, a skin disease called papilloma virus, stress and bad teeth.
When Keiko was finally moved from Mexico to Oregon in 1996 he was extremely close to death. Had he stayed just a few more months in Mexico he would’ve died.
Serious question though. If whales don’t have shade in their natural environment, why is it so critical they have it in human care? I mean, they still spend most of their time near the surface in the ocean, so it’s not like depth or silt would give a huge amount of screening.
If anyone has facts supporting/disproving the whales need shade theory I’d love to get more information!
It’s important because orcas don’t live in places like Mexico, Miami, Texas etc in the wild with a sun baking over them all day long. They live in much colder places like Iceland, Norway, Canada, Alaska etc where they aren’t constantly exposed to high tempatures and the sun.
Keiko’s body overheated for a reason - because he is not build to live in a hot climate such as Mexico.
And yes, orcas do spend less time at the surface in the wild which is why they have straight dorsals unlike the captive ones.
Second of all, the ocean temperature doesn’t change the strength of the sun. UV rays are just as potent in the Arctic circle as the Florida coast (if not more so, I believe, due to the lack of absorption)
True, Keiko- as an Icelandic individual- was by no means meant to live in Mexico. And from all I’ve read, his tank was pretty horrible. I bet, had they used systems as advanced as SeaWorldd’s in order to monitor water temperature his conditions could have been improved exponentially.
To your second point, orcas- no matter the location- spend most of their time at or near the surface. They’re air breathers. So it makes sense to stay near that life-giving oxygen. Plus, deep dives are a huge caloric drain, and are thus only undertaken during foraging.
Finally, we still don’t know why fins bend. Could it be related to water pressure absent in captive environments? Maybe. Is it directly related to captivity? Likely, simply due to the sheer number of human-held whales with floppy fins. But it IS seen in the wild. So, no one really knows WHY it happens.
UV rays are not highest in the Arctic, or the Antarctic for that matter. UV rays are strongest along the equator. Think about the tilt of the Earth in comparison to the sun; this tilt places the equator closest to the sun, hence the hot temperatures. The equator correlates well with the white absences on the above map.
Secondly, you are right that killer whales are still commonly seen in warm waters. However, a casual submergence by an orca pod can be much deeper than 20 feet, which is a roughly-estimated depth of captive whale tanks. And as we are sure you are aware, the temperature and UV absorption changes vastly with water depth. Recall that when cetaceans in tropical climates strand, they are sometimes treated with a special cream to prevent sunburns. Yet in the deeper, open water in that same geographic location, they are able to evade the risk of burning.
Regardless of depth or range, there ARE cetaceans out there who have adapted physiological mechanisms to defend against the sun. Check out this article here!
"Via Candace Calloway Whiting:
@Alyson Walsh-Fernandez shared: This great news just in from Ops campaign director !
Willie Nelson was scheduled to kick off Sea World Orlando concerts February 2014. However, the concert no longer appears on Willie’s website and Sea World has completely removed their concert schedule listed for 2014 off their site:
The SW page says to stay tuned & follow them on FB for concert info. - either everyone is cancelling on them & they’re scrambling to book new acts, or they don’t want us to know who is scheduled so we can’t talk them into cancelling (which apparently isn’t too hard)…”
-Orca Network on Facebook
I agree, they’re beautiful!
And thanks, my day’s been pretty good so far! My school was cancelled because of snow/freezing rain and I ordered a copy of that poster with all of the orca ecotypes on it :)
Captivity Kills. Stop the captures.
> remembering: KILROY
kilroy was captured from k pod along with kandu, ramu, and skana. he was first sent to the seattle marine aquarium, and shortly after to seaworld in san diego. he spent 11 years being flown back and forth between san diego and ohio, where he was reunited with kandu, a probable k pod family member.
kilroy was apparently a ‘reliable’ whale and was not known to be aggressive towards trainers or the other whales. in 1978 after eleven years in captivity kilroy died at age 13 after contracting gangrenous pneumonia.