Apex Meets Apex, Hmm

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Killer whales are truly phenomenal creatures.  And I am scared to death of them.  Honest.  I would rather swim in a pool full of bull sharks, lemon sharks, and white sharks than get into water anywhere near an approaching pod of transient (or even resident) orca. 

Why this aversion?  All you have to do is view the video.  Ever since I saw a Blue Planet episode I’ve had a paranoia about these gorgeous predators.  In that footage the film makers tracked a pod of killer whales that stalked a grey whale mother and her calf until the calf became exhausted.  They took turns breaching on top of the calf and submerging him until he drowned. 

Now I can appreciate a well coordinated attack just as much as anyone.  And I sure do understand the dynamics of predator and prey quite well.  Its not that I have a bleeding heart for infant animals being eaten – its just the easiest prey to capture – but it was the behavior the orca presented after the kill that astonished me and started the unsettled feeling in my stomach. 

What did they do?  After they had tracked these whales for hundreds of miles and expended considerable energy in the hunt they ate only the tongue and parts of the bottom jaw from the calf.  The rest was left to float like so much flotsam in the ocean. 

Its not that I find it disrespectful or wasteful (or some other insensible anthropomorphic projection) it was simply an overwhelming example orca’s efficiency and skill.  The kill was almost easy, and they certainly weren’t desperate … they left most of the carcass behind! 

Now it seems that not even white sharks are safe from orca.  If CA2 can teach this breach trick to her calves or podmates “Jaws” may be in trouble with “Shamu”.