By Kimberly Hickok, Reference Editor | September 20, 2018 06:49am ET

A small pod of orcas (Orcinus orca) near the Galápagos Islands was caught on camera as they pushed, spun and dragged sea turtles around as if the turtles were pool toys. Orcas are known to play with their food before eating, but this was likely the first time they've been filmed tormenting sea turtles.

Nicolás Dávalos, a photographer and marine biology student in Ecuador, was in the area assisting with research when he and his colleagues spotted the group of orcas, also called killer whales, splashing around nearby.

"There was a lot of action and a lot of movement. Birds were flying around, so we thought [the orcas] were feeding," Dávalos said. The researchers hopped in a small boat and motored over to the orcas for a better look. [Photos: Drone Reveals Killer Whales]

It was clear that the orcas were chasing something, Dávalos said, "so I decided to go in the water." (Because what's there to fear from being in the water with one the ocean’s largest and most ferocious predators?)

Dávalos dove into the water with his snorkel and a GoPro. "At the beginning I was wary, but then I just felt the killer whales knew I was there," he said. "They turned around a few times to look at me, but they were totally fine with me being there."

The orcas, he said, seemed far more interested in entertaining themselves with the sea turtles than they were with him. "They would run away with their turtle, like a dog with a bone," Dávalos told Live Science. "They didn't want to share."

While this is probably the first time orcas have ever been caught on camera torturing helpless sea turtles, this kind of playful behavior is not unusual for the majestic carnivores.

"Killer whales will at times play with potential prey for a half hour or more, and then just move on, leaving the victim unharmed," Robert Pitman, a marine ecologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Southwest Fisheries Science Center, told National Geographic.

"Other times, they will chase prey around and kill it but not eat it," Pitman said. "They're like cats in that way — can't resist the urge I guess."

"If you're a hunter, keeping a potential prey item alive for a long period of time — continually chasing down and catching it — is a good way to practice a lot of the skills that you might need later in life," Michael Weiss, a biologist and doctoral student at the Center for Whale Research, told National Geographic. Weiss added that younger orcas seem to play with their food more often than adults.

Very little is known about the orcas that frequent the Galápagos Island area, Dávalos said, which makes his encounter even more special. He hopes the video entices people to support ocean research and conservation efforts.

 "The oceans are full of opportunities to uncover beautiful and intricate mysteries," he said.  

Original article on Live Science.

Views: 129

Have questions?

Need help? Visit our Support Group for help from our friendly Admins and members!

Have you?

Become a Member
Invited Your Friends
Made new Friends
Read/ Written a Blog
Joined/ Created a Group
Read/ Posted a Discussion
Checked out the Chat
Looked at/Posted Videos
Made a donation this month
Followed us on Twitter
Followed us on Facebook

Donations & Sponsorship

July's 2020 Temple Sponsor:
TRUSTED TAROT
Get an accurate, FREE Tarot reading from Trusted Tarot and find answers to your most important questions above love, money, and more.
~~~~~~~~~~~
Please consider a donation to help with our continued growth and site costs

Connect

Visit The Temple
on Facebook:

....

Blog Posts

The Man Child Dani(3l)

Posted by Quingu on September 28, 2020 at 3:00pm 0 Comments

The Moon God Sin

Posted by Quingu on September 26, 2020 at 11:00am 0 Comments

Happy Birthday Sunkat

Posted by Linda M. on September 23, 2020 at 6:41pm 20 Comments

The Sol Assassin (XV)

Posted by Quingu on September 22, 2020 at 4:30pm 0 Comments

The Seraphim

Posted by Quingu on September 21, 2020 at 7:32am 0 Comments

The Cherubim

Posted by Quingu on September 19, 2020 at 2:30pm 0 Comments

CAPITALISM IN TROUBLE

Posted by Sky a.k.a. JD Aeon on September 19, 2020 at 6:00am 0 Comments

The Death Angels (Ušumgal) III

Posted by Quingu on September 18, 2020 at 4:30pm 0 Comments

Sa'am(sung)

Posted by Quingu on September 17, 2020 at 9:00am 0 Comments

Cordyceps Mushroom Supplement Types

Posted by Mystic Wolf on September 16, 2020 at 9:02pm 0 Comments

The Imdugud Edict

Posted by Quingu on September 16, 2020 at 4:02pm 0 Comments

The Orion Naga

Posted by Quingu on September 15, 2020 at 5:30pm 0 Comments

The Rising Phoenix

Posted by Quingu on September 15, 2020 at 10:30am 0 Comments

Dark Moon Magic

Posted by Mystic Wolf on September 14, 2020 at 7:19pm 1 Comment

The Lemurian Naga

Posted by Quingu on September 14, 2020 at 9:30am 0 Comments

The Sith Assassin

Posted by Quingu on September 13, 2020 at 4:31pm 0 Comments

The Four Kings of Hell (III)

Posted by Quingu on September 13, 2020 at 2:33pm 0 Comments

SEPTEMBER AWARENESS
















© 2020   Created by Bryan   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service