The orcas are amazing! They are known for their high intelligence, curiosity, playfulness, and ability to solve problems. But this female killer whale named Kalia who lives at SeaWorld San Diego takes it one step further: she uses a bait fish to hunt a bird!
Watch the amazing video below:
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 to a group 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 Kalia makes her fast move and catches the bird. The orcas didn’t really eat it, rather tear it up and play with it/pass it around.
Kalia’s mother 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.
Orcas have the second-heaviest brains among marine mammals (after sperm whales, which have the largest brain of any animal). Their brain weigh 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 scientist 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”.