On a limited scale, killer whales have been targeted for their flesh, skins, blubber, and internal organs, which are turned into fertilizer and used as bait. Killer whales graze near fishing facilities in certain regions, "stealing" seafood from the fisherman. The fishermen defend themselves by shooting at the whales with gunpowder-filled shells; although rarely killed, these whales are often injured from which they must flee into open water where they are unable to sustain themselves.
In addition to humans, killer whales also eat other marine mammals, especially dolphins. They will even attack large fish such as halibut if no other prey is available. However, since dolphins are a valuable commodity in certain markets, especially in Japan, there is little risk of killing a dolphin when eating killer whale.
Finally, killer whales will eat anything that moves, including other whales. There are many stories about killer whales attacking boats, sometimes causing them to sink. If this happens to you, try to go down with your boat or stay afloat until help arrives.
These are just some of the ways people have tried to exploit killer whales. There are many more, some successful, others not. As long as there are people who want to make money off killer whales, they will continue to be hunted.
Whales have been observed playing with their food before eating it. "Killer whales, like many predators, occasionally kill creatures they don't consume; perhaps for enjoyment, perhaps to keep their skill level sharp," says NOAA Fisheries' Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division's Robert Pitman in an email. These animals may also be throwing away evidence of their meal-taking activities.
Killer whales are known to play with their food before eating it. Scientists have seen them slap fish against a surface to remove the spine or pull off a fin to eat the meat more easily. They have also been seen twisting fish around so that the skin faces up or down, which determines how much of the fish they will eat. Finally, killer whales have been seen tossing fish into the air and catching them in their mouths, probably as a way of keeping themselves entertained between meals.
Fish slaps, twists, and throws may all help killer whales avoid diseases by exposing them to different bacteria through their mouth and gut. This is especially important since few species of fish inhabit these waters, so there isn't a constant flow of new organisms into which the whales can inoculate themselves.
Some scientists think that killer whales may also throw away their food because it tastes bad. "It's possible that they're doing this to show displeasure towards their prey or out of boredom," says Pitman.
Killer whales (also known as orcas) are apex predators, which means they are at the top of their food chain. They eat fish and squid like other odontocetes (toothed whales), but they will also eat seals, sea birds, and whales much larger than themselves. More information about what whales eat may be found here.
Killer whales are known for their large brains and intelligence. They are also one of only a few animals that can stay underwater for long periods of time. Scientists think this ability helps killer whales find food when other sources are unavailable or hard to reach.
Killer whales have been documented staying under water for up to four minutes at a time. This is possible because they use fat stores to remain submerged for such a length of time. During these bursts of activity, their heart rates increase to 150 or more beats per minute, more than twice as fast as when they are swimming slowly.
Killer whales live in all oceans worldwide except for the Antarctic region. They prefer deep waters near shore but will sometimes come ashore to play if no other choice is available. Landings are usually not voluntary but rather due to ship strikes or other accidents. When killed, humans often take their tongues out of respect, although this is not necessary. It is estimated that there are between 100 and 200 killer whales left in captivity across the world.
The killer whale appears to be at the top of all food systems. Because it is a consumer, it cannot create food or energy for itself, therefore it must rely on species further down the food chain. Killer whales are known to prey on large fish, such as tuna and salmon, but they also consume smaller organisms such as octopuses and squid.
Killer whales are responsible for the extinction of several species. They may eat everything in their path including other predators such as sharks. This can have disastrous results because many other animals depend on these predators for protection from larger species such as themselves. For example, when saber-toothed cats were removed from the ecosystem, many small mammals became extinct. This is because they could not protect themselves from larger competitors such as dogs and humans.
In conclusion, killer whales are responsible for the extinction of many species but also play an important role in the survival of others. Because of this double-edged sword nature, they are considered "hypercarnivores".
Killer whales have also assisted humans in hunting. There have been reports of orcas herding fish—and even other whales—to make it easier for fisherman to catch them in North America and Australia. In Japan, fishermen use kayaks to herd pygmy sardines into shallow waters where they can be caught with ease.
In recent years, several cases have come to light about killer whales helping humans avoid danger. In 2001, a woman was swimming at SeaWorld San Diego when the leash attached to a dog submerged under water became entangled around her leg. An orca named Toni helped free her by repeatedly ramming its head into the side of the boat.
Toni died in 2003 after catching pneumonia. However, scientists believe that she may have saved another human being's life without knowing it. The woman she rescued was also at the park that day having a ride on a raft when she got stuck in the mud. Toni attacked the log jam until someone gave her a hand and freed her too.
These examples show that killer whales are capable of helping humans if they feel like it can be done safely. Whether it's through hunting or escorting people out of danger, these animals are using their intelligence to benefit themselves by doing what helps them survive.
Whales that kill more people than anything else are the shark, the tusk, and the sword. The shark has been known to take thousands of lives in one season and they have no fear of humans. The tiger shark was once thought to be the deadliest fish in the ocean but now it's been proven wrong by the Mako shark. This huge creature can reach lengths of 20 feet and weigh over 2,000 pounds! It is believed that during its lifetime this shark kills 36 other animals of which 32 were larger than itself.
The tusk comes in two varieties, the elephant tooth and the narwhal horn. An average-sized male elephant tooth can weigh up to 14 pounds and be as long as 12 inches. Elephants use these teeth to fight each other for dominance. A female elephant tooth can grow to be even bigger than a man's. Narwhals use their horns to battle for mating rights with other males; although there is no evidence of them fighting other whales for control of territories or anything like that, just like sharks, the ones who survive will pass on their genes so they'll keep doing it year after year.
Finally, there is the sword.