Wondering Why?

Why do killer whales play with their food?

Why do killer whales play with their food?

The diet of killer whales includes seals, squids, walruses, sea turtles, polar bears, octopus, reptiles, penguins, sea lions, bears, sharks, fish, birds and small whales. It was found that about 500 pounds of food is required for a killer whale per day. It is calculated that at least it has to spend about 60 percent of its time in searching for its food. Killer whales tend to eat land mammals some times and eat even other killer whales too in some situations.

The major work of killer whales is to hunt for food. Whales generally move in groups in order to catch the prey. The herd of whales surrounds the prey and each of them takes its turn to eat the prey. The pod of killer whales surrounds fish or any other prey and concentrates on it. Then each one of the group reaches the prey and eat it as much as possible. By controlling the movement of prey and making it to remain in a small area will enable the killer whales to approach the prey very easily. This technique of the killer whales to reach the prey and eat it, is called as herding.

Killer whales are known to adapt themselves to every area and search for the prey that is available in that region. If the prey is large in size then the killer whales will make use of their tails to kill it. After killing it, the killer whales approach the prey and tear it with its large and sharp teeth. Later, they eat it comfortably. Actually teeth for whales are present only for tearing the prey and not for chewing purpose. Whales can swallow the prey after making it into pieces. Killer whales also use the phenomenon of echolocation to trace the food. It was found that sometimes killer whales will keep ice floe on them mimicking the presence of an ice floor. This makes the seal or penguins to land on it and then gets slipped only to fall as the prey to the whale. Killer whales find their food through other methods known as lobtail and spyhop.


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