The orcas are amazing! They are known for their high intelligence, curiosity, playfulness, and ability to solve problems. But this female killer whale named Kasatka who lives at SeaWorld San Diego takes it one step further: she uses a baitfish to hunt a bird!

Watch the amazing video below (WARNING: the video includes a lot of the aftermath so if you don’t like seeing dead/decapitated animals stop watching after the initial catch):

Killer Whale kills a bird sitting on the edge of the tank. The killer whale is named Kalia. At SeaWorld, San Diego.
Kalia successfully baits and catches a bird, Makani, in particular, seemed fascinated by it. WARNING: this includes a lot of the aftermath so if you don’t like seeing dead/decapitated animals stop watching after the initial catch.

At the beginning of the video, Kalia approaches a group of birds and deposits a dead fish, then waits patiently. Birds see the fish and try to take it. But they fear the big orca. Finally, one of the birds summons up the courage and takes the fish, but Kasatka makes her fast move and catches the bird.

Killer Whale uses a bait fish - Kasatka and her daughter Kalia
Kasatka and her daughter Kalia. Kalia was born at Sea World San Diego on December 21, 2004, at 9:22 a.m. in Shamu Stadium’s main show pool following a little more than two hours of labor and was estimated to weigh between 300 pounds and 500 pounds (136-226 kg) and measure 6 to 7 feet (1.8-2.1 meters). Her parents are Kasatka and Keet. She is also known as GreatGrandbaby Shamu. Her siblings are Takara (1991) Nakai (2001), Halyn (2005–2008) and Makani (2013). The name Kalia means “beauty” in Hawaiian. Kalia met her father for the first time when he returned to San Diego in February 2012. Kalia gave birth to Amaya on December 2, 2014, at 12:34 pm. Amaya’s father is Ulises, and the form of conception is unknown, either naturally or through artificial insemination.

Kasatka was captured off the coast of Iceland on October 26, 1978, at the age of one year. She has shown aggression to humans. In 1993 Kasatka tried to bite a trainer during a show, and again in 1999. On November 30, 2006, Kasatka grabbed the same trainer from the 1999 incident, Ken Peters, and dragged him underwater twice during their show. The trainer survived with minor injuries.

In the wild, orcas have never been known to kill a human. There were known attacks (none of them were fatal), yes, but they are extremely rare. And these attacks occurred most probably the orca mistook the human for a seal.

Orcas have the second-heaviest brains among marine mammals (after sperm whales, which have the largest brain of any animal). Their brain weighs as much as 15 pounds (6.8 kg).

Bigger animals typically have bigger masses of brain cells. But scientists use brain-weight-to-body-weight ratios as a rough measure of intelligence. By that measure, human brains, by comparison, are seven times average. Orcas’ brains are 2.5 times average — similar to those of chimpanzees.

But scientists think that looking just at the brain-body ratio seriously underestimates the thinking power of larger marine mammals. In other words, orcas might be even much smarter than the size of their big brain suggests.

Hal Whitehead, a biology professor at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, awakened the world of cetacean research in 2001 when he co-authored a controversial paper that suggested no species other than humans are as “cultural” as orcas.

“Culture is about learning from others,” Whitehead said. “A cultural species starts behaving differently than a species where everything is determined genetically”.


M. Özgür Nevres

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