nana johari

October 23, 2017

Childhood Love

I loooove orcas, the Killer Whale. Killer Whale is their nickname, they are dolphins. I've loved them since I was little. One of reasons why I wanted to be a marine biologist to be honest lol but I gave up on that dream. I remember reading an encyclopedia on marine animals and staring at a majestic illustration of orcas eating seals, bloody and all. I watched Free Willy and I played the computer games too. I was a bit obsessed maybe. With orcas and dinosaurs.

Orcas are super cute I just look at that creature like come on?

So lately I have been watching (on and off) documentaries on orcas.

Scientists claim that orcas have culture; because they are able to learn from one another, they can pass their knowledge to their pod (group), so once one of them finds out how to do something (how to better hunt a whale, for example) they will most likely impart this knowledge to the rest of the pod, and then the rest of the pod will most likely be able to hunt whale using the same method, and be good at it. And yeah, they are very intelligent.

I watched some documentaries on orcas hunting. One of them was a white shark. It was amazing how these orcas could figure out how to paralyze the shark (by flipping the shark upside down; because in this position sharks and some other animals will be in trance and not moving, it's called tonic immobility). It's the same method they use to hunt stingrays. Orcas will turn upside down before they clip the stingray between their mouth and then they will flip their own bodies back so then the stingray will be in the position of tonic immobility. They hunt whales by covering the whales' blowholes (the hole whales use to breathe and expel air) with their bodies and submerging the whales. Like they know that's how you stop a whale from breathing and that's how the whale will drown and die. Cool shit.  

Another was a short video on how orcas teaming up to get a seal underwater. The seal was trying to avoid the attack by staying on top of a block of ice (in the middle of the water surface). So what these orcas did was that they lined up together side by side and moved towards the ice (and then under it), to create a wave that would run on top of the ice and tip the ice block, so the seal slipped and fell into the damn water. That? That was a physic shit.

Here watch:


In another video it could be seen that the seal managed to get on top of the ice several times after slipping into the water. Again and again. So were the orcas bad at hunting or was the seal too good at escaping death? That was the question. But then it was speculated by an expert that the pod of orcas actually didn't want to eat the seal, they were just using it as a hunting practice for their inexperienced/young ones or something like that.... ha.

Orcas also live in different pods that have their own different dialects/languages. They are conservative in the sense that they don't really interact with orcas outside of their own pod, and they live together with their ancestors and family. They can learn sounds (to communicate). There was a case about an isolated orca (poor guy) trying to communicate with a boat, by making the sound of boat engine/motor. I think his name was Luna. There is a movie about him, I haven't watched it yet (I want to), it's The Whale

They eat various stuff. Seals, whales, salmon, some eat sharks, some don't, and other things I don't remember. They eat whatever they want, maybe. Different pods probably have different diets. They don't eat humans and so far I haven't heard about orcas killing humans in the wild, but in captivity? Yes. People theorize that it's due to stress in confinement. Orcas are social animals, I mean they stick with their pod until death. So imagine taking that kind of animal away from its family? And making it live in a stupid tank. They are intelligent. With that kind of brain in that kind of isolated tank? Not surprising if it drove them barmy and psychotic.

A whale, named Keiko that was kept in confinement (Free Willy tbh he was released to the wild after) slept with toys/balls to soothe itself at one point. He approached humans even after the release and let kids played with him, because he was so used to humans (due to 20+ years of confinement), and never been in a pod of other orcas after the release. He couldn't join other pod for some reason, he swam back to boats and stuff. It was sad, humans took his family from him yknow and he never got that back. He died in the wild tho, due to an illness. He had survived just fine hunting by himself, it was probably just lonely I guess.

So in the above video they showed snippets of humans capturing orcas. It's just sad how the orcas knew what was coming, that their offsprings would be taken away from them (because they had been caught before) and they, the animals, decided to go in two separated ways. With one being all the older orcas and another with moms and their calves (babies). The older orcas would distract the humans/boats while the other group swam away. They were that intelligent, man. They still got caught because humans had a fucking aircraft to notice that the pod went separated ways. When the calves were being taken from the pod, the pod could leave (no one was stopping them) but they didn't, they stayed and kept communicating with the captured calves and it was just, any human should have known by then how wrong that was.

I saw another video of mother orca that was usually quiet making loud noises (in a tank) when her calf was taken away from her (transported to another different tank in different region). She made loud and long noises and you dont need and an expert to tell you that she was calling for her calf and grieving.

God damn, I admit that I'm desensitized to domestic animals being slaughtered for food. I don't know why this one (generally wild animals) is so heartbreaking. Maybe because they are used for entertainment. Maybe because they are loyal creatures who stay with their families until death. Maybe because they are intelligent and maybe they know what we are doingWho knows really, something to ponder upon.  

Anyway they are curious creatures. There are several videos recording them swimming near humans (in wild) looking at the boat and the humans, and just figuring them out before swimming away. It's said that orcas also react to emotional response, so if when you see them you kinda screaming and whooping, then they would probably surface more. Not sure if it's true, but several occasions were caught on camera. One that I remember was a group of guys rowing and sighting two orcas (they were kinda far away from them) and the guys were so excited about it. The orcas then approached them, swimming near and under their rowboat (and freaking them out lmao because the Killer Whale is under your damn rowboat, man). They don't really attack humans but I guess it still would be scary to have animal that big near you in their territory.

So I told my mother that orcas are one of the most intelligent predators and my mom was like yeah that's why they are so good at killing. And I was like;

love orcas. Ugh.

For more accurate information on these cute intelligent predators, ask mr google.