orca

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Orcas Keep Damaging Boats, and Theories Are Interesting

It might be a 'fad,' or a case of young males who like propellers

(Newser) - The word is out among boaters along the coasts of European countries: Look out for orcas. For more than a year now, killer whales have been regularly causing trouble for boaters near France, Spain, Portugal, and elsewhere, reports NPR . Nobody has been injured, but the same can't be said...

Orcas Can Kill the Largest Animal on Earth
Orcas Can Kill the
Largest Animal on Earth
in case you missed it

Orcas Can Kill the Largest Animal on Earth

Scientists for the first time witness an orca pod kill a blue whale

(Newser) - It turns out the largest animal on the planet has a predator. Scientists have confirmed that a pod of orcas was able to kill and eat an adult blue whale, and what they observed was a gruesome scene. Per a paper published in Marine Mammal Science , scientists write that three...

Baby Orca Dies Amid Huge Search for His Mom

Toa captured hearts in New Zealand

(Newser) - "Toa passed quickly, surrounded by love, with his last days made as comfortable as possible." Such is the somber conclusion of a story out of New Zealand, where conservationists tried and failed to save the life of a baby orca found separated from his mother. The New Zealand ...

Orcas Are Acting 'Crazy' Off Spain

'I thought they could capsize the boat'

(Newser) - Orcas are curious mammals who sometimes play with boats. But playing doesn’t quite describe what endangered pods have been doing in the Strait of Gibraltar, a major shipping route, this summer. Boaters say hard-hitting whales have spun their vessels up to 180 degrees and caused extensive damage. For more...

Out of Mama Orca's Tragedy, New Joy

J35, who carried her dead calf for 17 days in 2018, has a new calf

(Newser) - Tahlequah—or J35, as she is also known—the orca who heartbreakingly carried her dead calf for 17 days in 2018 , is a mom once again. She was discovered to be pregnant in July, and gave birth Friday. Researchers say the new calf appears to be "healthy and precocious"...

A Glimmer of Hope for Orca Who Carried Dead Calf

Tahlequah is pregnant again, though it's too soon to celebrate

(Newser) - The orca who carried the body of her dead calf for 17 days over 1,000 miles may get another shot at motherhood. Tahlequah was found to be pregnant during a recent study of the body condition of critically endangered southern resident orcas off the Northwest coast. John Durban of...

In the World of Orcas, Grandmothers Are Key
In the World of Orcas,
Grandmothers Are Key
new study

In the World of Orcas, Grandmothers Are Key

They help calves survive, especially when food is scarce, says new study

(Newser) - Researchers studying killer whales have made a discovery unusual in the animal kingdom: Grandmothers rock. That is, older female orcas make a big difference when it comes to the survival of their grandchild calves, according to the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . Orcas are one...

Happy News for a Clan of Endangered Whales

Researchers say baby orca around Puget Sound is a girl

(Newser) - Researchers watching a clan of endangered whales that visit the waters off Washington state saw a welcome sight last week: a baby female calf. The Center for Whale Research already knew of the orca calf's birth in May, but the sighting in July revealed its gender, along with confirmation...

SeaWorld Just Lost Another Orca
SeaWorld Just Lost
Another Orca

SeaWorld Just Lost Another Orca

Kayla, 30, died after a brief illness at the theme park's Orlando location

(Newser) - A 30-year-old orca died Monday at SeaWorld's Orlando park after a brief illness, company officials say. A cause of death won't be known until a post-mortem examination is conducted, per SeaWorld. Kayla began showing signs of discomfort on Saturday, and veterinarians began treating her based on what they...

Months After a Sad Loss, New Hope for Orcas

A calf arrives, though odds of survival aren't good

(Newser) - Welcome L124 or "Lucky"—a new calf spotted among the struggling southern resident orca population. The 75th member of the group, perhaps up to a month old, appears happy and healthy following its first sighting at the north end of Puget Sound in Washington state on Jan. 11,...

Illegal Russian 'Whale Jail' Investigated

Dozens of orcas, belugas seen in cramped pens

(Newser) - Some of the world's most majestic creatures are being kept in cramped conditions in an illegal "whale jail" in Russia, activists say. Prosecutors in the city of Vladivostok in Russia's Far East opened an investigation after drone video was released showing dozens of beluga whales and orcas...

Chemical Banned Decades Ago Could Take Down Killer Whales
Study Gives Bleakest of
Outlooks for Killer Whales
new study

Study Gives Bleakest of Outlooks for Killer Whales

Study finds extremely high levels of PCBs in some orcas

(Newser) - It's less killer whale and more killed whales, at least according to a new study that found at least half the world's orcas could be taken down by ocean pollution in just a few decades. The culprit: highly toxic polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. "Despite a near-global ban...

Grieving Mother Orca Finally Lets Go of Dead Calf

Tahlequah is believed to have carried her offspring's body for 17 days over 1,000 miles

(Newser) - The orca mom that carried the limp body of her dead calf for weeks , attracting worldwide attention for what many see as an undeniable expression of grief, has finally moved on. Per the Seattle Times , Tahlequah dropped her offspring's decomposing body after going to great lengths to hold onto...

'I Can't Believe' She Is Still Carrying Her Dead Calf

Worried another orca, J50, has days to live, officials may intervene

(Newser) - Scientists have been unable to determine how an endangered orca calf died because—as of Wednesday, 16 days later—its mother still won't let it go. "I am sobbing ... absolutely shocked and heartbroken," researcher Deborah Giles tells the Seattle Times . "I can't believe she is...

Orca Mourning Her Calf Gets Some Relief

Orcas are taking turns carrying corpse into 10th day

(Newser) - An orca who spent more than a week carrying her calf following its July 24 death now has some help. Other orcas in the pod swimming through Pacific Northwest waters near the US-Canada border are taking turns carrying the corpse after the effort caused the 20-year-old mother known as J35...

A Week Later, Orca Keeps Diving to Retrieve Dead Calf

Update given on J35 as of Monday afternoon

(Newser) - An endangered orca that spends time in Pacific Northwest waters is still carrying the corpse of her calf one week after it died. Experts with the Whale Museum on San Juan Island have been monitoring the 20-year-old whale, known as J35, since her calf died shortly after birth Tuesday. Jenny...

A 'Gut-Wrenching' Mother's Grief in the Puget Sound

Orca won't let go of her calf, who died shortly after being born Tuesday off the Washington coast

(Newser) - What's being described as a "gut-wrenching" scene is playing out in Puget Sound, and it's been going on for at least three days. The Seattle Times reports on J35, an orca who gave birth on Tuesday only to witness her calf die 30 minutes later—and she'...

'Soul' of the Pacific NW Is Dying of Starvation
'Soul' of the
Pacific NW
Is Dying of
Starvation
in case you missed it

'Soul' of the Pacific NW Is Dying of Starvation

Killer whales are succumbing to a variety of factors, including pollution and lack of Chinook salmon

(Newser) - "I believe we have orcas in our soul in this state." Those were the words of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee earlier this year after forming the Southern Resident Orca Task Force , an initiative meant to keep endangered killer whales alive in the region. Contributing to their extinction there,...

Scientists Observe a Grisly First Among Orcas
Never-Before-Seen
Behavior in Orcas
Surprises Scientists


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Never-Before-Seen Behavior in Orcas Surprises Scientists

Researchers see the first known case of infanticide among killer whales

(Newser) - Scientists have observed a behavior never before seen in killer whales, and it makes for a grim discovery. Following strange calls from orcas off the northeastern coast of British Columbia's Vancouver Island in December, researchers observed the first known case of infanticide among the whales. After tracking down the...

Scientists Teach Orca to Mimic Words
Orca Learns
to Mimic
'Hello,' Other 
Words
NEW STUDY

Orca Learns to Mimic 'Hello,' Other Words

Nice job, Wikie

(Newser) - Orcas don't just wave and whistle. They also have the ability to mimic words like "hello" and "bye bye," as one killer whale has just proven. After discovering orca pods with unique "accents" in their communications—which naturally come in the form of whistles, calls,...

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