The Habits Of Killer Whales

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Killer whales are the epitome of teamwork when it comes to hunting. When confronted by a pod of killer whales the prey has very little chance of escaping. Killer whales can be found all over the earth’s oceans and nearly everything is on the menu, which makes them an important apex predator. An animal’s feeding habits such as what and how much can determine how much of an impact the animal has on the ecosystem. In the case of the killer whale it clearly has a notch at the top of the marine ecosystem. It is easy to see how they are at the top of the food chain. While many mistake the great white as a great hunter but killer whales swim circles around them, literally. When size and strength are combined with intellect the outcome is one fierce …show more content…
There are times when the attack seems to be a long drawn out event in which the prey is tossed around and dragged under and tossed around some more. This is an act of “playing” with their food. It is unclear why killer whales do this, and it is possible that when animals are being tossed they may not actually be preyed upon just played with so it is hard to determined if the tossing is part of a predation purpose. Other attacks can be very quick and not quite so dramatic, for instance a sea bird sitting on the surface is swallowed up rather quickly and can easily be missed. Perhaps the whale is aware that there is a chance the bird could fly away if given the chance to get away. No matter what hunting technique is used and whether it is dramatic or not, long or short these animals are very successful hunters averaging well over a 50% success …show more content…
According to NOAA the southern resident killer whales are endangered. These are the only killer whales that inhabit waters near the United States. It is important to gain a better understanding of why this group of whales is becoming endangered. If an apex predator of this magnitude disappears this can create a huge problem in the marine ecosystem, because the higher the predator is on an ecosystem the more impactful it becomes. One species that would benefit from the decline of killer whales is the leatherback turtle. The world knows they are endangered but that does not matter to the killer whales that predate

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