The reason why killer whales are the most ferocious sea animals
Speaking of fierce sea beasts, many people immediately think of big sharks, sea leopards, blue whales, the largest animal in the world, and so on.
Are these animals considered the most ferocious sea beasts? None of them. The killer whale is the most ferocious sea beast in the world. The appearance of the killer whale is somewhat similar to other whales. The killer whale is 9 meters long, about the same length as a large bus. The dorsal fin of the killer whale is very special. It is a very large dorsal fin shaped like a triangle with a height of 30 to 40 cm. It acts as a steering wheel on the body. At the same time, this large dorsal fin also interacts with the 10 on each side of its upper and lower jaw. Up to 13 large, powerful, sharp and round cone-shaped teeth together become a powerful weapon for it to attack other animals. Killer whales do not like to live alone, but like lively.
They are often three or four or thirty or forty heads together, this kind of group living provides convenience for them to hunt for food. Even the huge blue whales cannot escape their collective siege. According to a report by National Geographic magazine in April 1979, scientists had seen about 30 killer whales hunting a blue whale more than 18 meters in length in the California waters of Mexico. Killer whales seem to have a clear division of labor: Some of the killer whales are on either side of the blue whale, as if to control it; the other two are in front of the blue whale and two are behind the blue whale to prevent the blue whale from escaping; some killer whales seem to force the blue whale to sink Under the water, it is forbidden to breathe out of the water; some others are monitoring under the belly of the blue whale, as if to prevent the blue whale from diving away.
The baby blue whale was really unable to escape in this tight encirclement, and was finally bitten by the group of killer whales like wolves, bruised and bloodied.
Where they fought, a blood river of twenty nautical miles was formed. In addition to eating blue whales, killer whales also eat dolphins, seals, large fish and penguins. It is like a robber in the sea, always doing bad things, so people call it “evil whale”.
Life habits of killer whales
Killer whales often have behaviors such as jumping to hit the waves, floating and watching, or slap the water with their tail or pectoral fins. In the shallow waters of the bay, it also likes to use the notches on its tail to hook and pull seaweed, making a “whoop” sound, and soon, the whole body is covered with translucent seaweed. The fastest swimming speed of the killer whale can reach 55 kilometers per hour, and it can hold its breath for about 17 minutes. When the surrounding air is cool, you can usually see their low, branch-like jets. The water column of killer whales is slanted, thick and short, unlike baleen whales, which are thin and tall. They respond to ships in a variety of ways, either indifferent or full of curiosity. Occasionally, they get stranded in groups, and groups are sometimes trapped in tide pools or bays. In the Arctic and Antarctic seas, the ice floes produced quickly by the wind are a big trouble for killer whales, sometimes forcing them to stay in the narrow waters for a long time.
If humpback whales are the “singers” of cetaceans and beluga whales are “canaries” in the sea, then killer whales are the “masters of language” in cetaceans. They can make 62 different sounds, and these Sound has different meanings. For example, when preying on fish, they will make intermittent “sneezing” sounds, just like the sound made by pulling rusty iron door and window hinges. After the fish are threatened by this sound, their actions become abnormal. Killer whales can not only emit ultrasonic waves to find fish schools through echoes, but also determine the size and swimming direction of fish schools through ultrasonic waves. This ability is very important for carnivores living in the ocean. The sea is very dark and it is difficult to see the predator targets in the distance in this environment.
Killer whales like to live in groups. There are small groups of 2-3 and large groups of 40-50. Every day there are 2-3 hours quietly staying on the surface of the water, because the lungs are full of enough air. So it can float safely on the sea, exposing a huge dorsal fin. The pectoral fins of the group members often maintain contact, appearing affectionate and united. If a member of the group is injured or loses consciousness in an accident, other members will come to help, use the body or head with a top strap to keep it floating on the surface of the sea, even in a pile when sleeping. This is to take care of each other and maintain a certain level of sobriety. They travel and eat together, use the population as the social organization, rest in the vast family, and grow up dependent on each other.
The basic social unit of the settled killer whales located in Washington State and British Columbia is a small matrilineal group, generally composed of 2 to 9 killer whales of similar blood relationship. This matrilineal group will remain stable for a long time, and all members seem to be Share the parenting work together. Several such groups will form a small group (usually used to describe a group of cetaceans that have social and behavioral connections with each other). A typical small group usually includes adult and juvenile male and female killer whales and young whales. Older female whales occupy a leading position, and male whales in small groups are usually the offspring of that female whale. Even some male killer whales grow to 9 meters and still live in small groups.
The social form of killer whales is matrilineal, and the choice of mating partners is more complicated, and it is not determined by the power of males: for example, the patriarch of a whale group can sometimes live to 80 years old, and there are also examples of mating in their later years. They usually choose to mate with whales. Elder male in the group. The standard scientist who chooses female whales is not clear, and mating scenes are rarely observed. They only know that there is a mother but not where the father is.
There is no father-son relationship or father-daughter relationship in a whale group. The male’s responsibility is to go out to find food and then guide the whales to hunt. The division of labor is clear, and there is no status. The mother-daughter, mother-child relationship is very stable, and it is a lifetime relationship. Generally not outlier. Lone whales are usually caused by injuries or getting lost. When the ethnic group is too large, it will “divide” and create a new ethnic group.
Sometimes killer whales hunt in groups. They use the ultrasonic waves emitted from the head (a part of the dolphin family used to make echolocations and gather the sounds into a bunch) to communicate and communicate with each other and plan tactics. They will also work together to gather the fish into a big ball, and then take turns to get in for food. When hunting fur seals, killer whales will observe the cracks and ditches leading to the beach before the high tide. When the tide is high, the ditches will be filled with water and form a shallow water area on the beach. At this time, the killer whales will wash up the beach along the ditches. And deliberately stranded itself to take advantage of the opportunity to hunt fur seals or sea lions. Sometimes a killer whale will show its large dorsal fin to attract the attention of the seal group. At this time, another killer whale will quietly approach and kill the seals. When the prey escapes, another A killer whale will rush up to take over. Similarly, the killer whale sometimes has its abdomen up and floats motionless on the surface of the sea, much like a dead body. When squid, seabirds, sea animals, etc. approach it, it suddenly turns over and opens up. The mouth eats them, and sometimes the tail stuns the prey, such as sea lions, and then preys.
The food of killer whales includes fish, other cetaceans, pinnipeds, sea otters, birds, reptiles and cephalopods. Of the 362 stomachs of killer whales collected in Antarctica, 217 contained fish, 75 contained remnants of minke whales, 35 contained pinnipeds, and 35 contained cephalopods.
The brain of the killer whale is very developed and the body possesses strong power. With these advantages, these high-IQ animals can chase and kill many top predators in the ocean. Some members of the killer whale family list at least 9 shark delicacies on their menus, including the great white shark and the mako shark that make many animals scared.
Dr. Ingrid Wiesar, an expert on killer whales and who has conducted research on the behavior of killer whales for 17 years, said: “The most impressive strategy is to use the palm split in karate.” Killer whales use their tails to smash sharks. Drive out of the water without even having physical contact with the shark during the whole process. With the help of the upward force generated by their tails, they can create a vortex that places the shark on the current of water when it moves. Once the prey comes out of the water, the killer whale turns its body while extending its tail out of the water, and then attacks the shark like a palm split in karate. ”
After the shark is stunned, the killer whale will catch the shark and turn it over. This is obviously an unbelievable strategy, which shows that the killer whale knows its opponent very well. After being quickly turned upside down, the shark entered a state of paralysis, which is known as “muscle tension stagnation”, and was left to kill by the killer whale.
Vishal from Tutu Kaka, North Island, New Zealand, said: “The killer whales don’t understand the physiological structure of sharks, but the behaviors they exhibit do show that they know the effects of taking a certain action. .You don’t have to master the working principle of a car in order to drive, all you have to understand is how to make the car go. Similarly, killer whales seem to know that once sharks are turned over, they will lose their ability to fight back. What killer whales do It is to use their own advantages.” In the killer whales, scientists have also observed some other attack methods, including “round-up”, that is, a group of whales surround a lone shark and then start a frontal precession, or sneak in from below. , And quickly attacked the shark’s lower abdomen while it was unprepared.
Visar said: “Usually, killer whales will turn sharks over. At this time, the sharks are unable to fight back. A successful hunting behavior ends here. The last thing to do is to enjoy the fruits of their labor. We think that killer whales do not. There is no special plan to go out to hunt sharks. Foraging in the ocean is not an easy task. Once the opportunity arises, they will attack the sharks mercilessly.”
The population status of killer whales
Historically, killer whales were directly hunted in Japan, Norway, and the former Soviet Union. There is no fishery that directly hunts killer whales. The rise of killer whale shows in aquariums in the 1960s prompted the rapid development of live killer whale fisheries. With the development of breeding technology under the breeding of killer whales, the demand for live capture has declined. Marine oil spills and pollution from other toxic substances pose some threats to the health of killer whales, and the interference of marine traffic on their prey is a potential impact. There are an estimated 70,000 killer whales in Antarctica, and only a few sporadic surveys of killer whales in other waters.
The killer whales are not in danger of extinction, but human hunting may have caused the decrease of ethnic groups in some areas. There are only a few hundred killer whales located in Washington State and British Columbia, whether they are settled or transited. They are also threatened by pollution, heavy ships, and reduced prey. Intensive whale watching activities may interfere with the lives of killer whales, and those in order to protect salmon farms from driving in pinnipods and reducing prey and other existential threats. People who may be invaded by intensive whale watching activities may drive killer whales from their original preferred habitat. It is estimated that there are about 8,500 killer whales in the tropical waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean, at least 850 in Alaska waters, and more than 2,000 in the seas off Japan. In summer, there are about 8,000 killer whales in Antarctic waters. Other areas within the distribution range may be Between hundreds and thousands of heads. At present, whalers in Japan, Indonesia, Greenland, and the West Indies continue to catch killer whales. Although the catch is small, it may have a considerable impact on local ethnic groups.