Sunday, June 16, 2013

Orcas Vs. Sperm, A Battle At Sea

Amazing things happen in the ocean, far from the gaze of the average human being and even the average sailor.  The largest mammals on the Earth do battle.  Orcas hunt sperm whales.  The scenario goes on frequently, yet few have ever filmed it.

Like wolves, Orcas hunt in packs.  However, not all Orcas hunt in packs.  Some Orcas are considered transient, with fewer whales herded together.  While resident Orcas tend to form larger herds and hunt together more efficiently.

Orcas vs. Sperm Whales from Blue Sphere Media on Vimeo

In this video, the Sperm Whales form a tight pack around an injured cub.  If the Orcas can separate the cub from the protection of the pod they will eat him alive.  Charge! An Orca rams the side of one the slow moving sperm whales, trying to force it away from the meal the Orcas seek.


It takes a certain breed of explorer to jump into the water during a pack hunt with the biggest predators in the world. A mere decision to attack and the whale would make short work of the lone diver turned dare devil.

After "clicking" the diver to assess the threat, the whale turned his attention to the task at hand, the hunting of a smaller sperm whale.  Wisely, the diver elected to keep his distance from the pack of whales on the hunt for their fellow mammal prey.  After quickly returning to the safety of his ship, the diver approached for a closer view.

"I had heard warnings before about the extreme dangers of swimming with transient orcas, especially when these apex predators are engaged in a hunt," Heinrichs wrote. "But in my heart I knew they were highly intelligent and evolved creatures who 'should' have no interest in hurting me."

One of the Orcas charged the pack of Sperm whales huddled tightly together to protect the weakest amongst them.  The attacked forced a smaller Sperm whale to separate from the pod.  With their prey isolated and defenseless, the Orcas followed the lone Sperm whale as she dove for cover.  Meanwhile, the pack of Sperm whales ran from the scene.

Sperm whales mostly eat squid and small fish.  They lack the speed and agility of Orcas.  However, they have the ability to dive deeper than an Orca.

Will an Orca "Killer" whale eat a man?

You bet! The diver who jumped into the water to film the pack of Orcas attacking the pod of sperm whales was taking a huge chance with his life.  Not all people are in agreement with the contention, but they didn't get their nickname "killer whale" by accident. -->

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