killer whales

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The Takeaway From Orca Boat Strikes: 'It's a Game'
The Takeaway From Orca
Boat Strikes: 'It's a Game'

The Takeaway From Orca Boat Strikes: 'It's a Game'

With full bellies, bored juveniles find fun in the risky play of bumping boats: study

(Newser) - Killer whales known to ram and sink boats off the Iberian Peninsula aren't bent on destroying humans. Rather, they're likely bored teenagers who find ship rudders incredibly entertaining, according to a new report from more than a dozen orca experts who sought to explain hundreds of boat strikes...

Man Fined for 'Shocking, Stupid' Behavior Around Orcas

'This really could have ended horribly'

(Newser) - A New Zealand man is lucky his "stupid and shocking" behavior around two orcas didn't result in an immediate lesson in why they are also known as killer whales, authorities say. The 50-year-old was fined 600 New Zealand dollars (roughly $367) over a video posted on Instagram video...

Orcas Sink Another Yacht
Killer Whales
Sink Another Yacht

Killer Whales Sink Another Yacht

Vessel went down in the Strait of Gibraltar after occupants were rescued

(Newser) - In what is apparently now a trend , orcas sank another yacht in the Strait of Gibraltar on Sunday. One particular pod of Iberian killer whales in the region off the coasts of Spain and Portugal has been ramming vessels since 2020 , and the most recent attack took place in Moroccan...

Clock Is Ticking on Rescue of This Stranded Young Orca

Killer whale calf is stuck in lagoon off Vancouver Island, Canada, with its food supply dwindling

(Newser) - Plans are underway to rescue a stranded killer whale calf out of a remote tidal lagoon off northern Vancouver Island in an effort to reunite the young female orca with its extended family, Canadian authorities said Wednesday, per the AP .
  • Stranded: Rescuers have been unable to coax the young whale,

Killer Whales Trapped Under Sea Ice Make a Break for It

Orcas off coast of Japan, spotted huddled together and bobbing in the waters, appear to have escaped

(Newser) - As a nation held its breath, so, too, did a pod of killer whales trapped beneath the ice off of the northern shores of Japan, bobbing their heads up and down from a small gap in the ice to breathe. Now, officials say the dozen or so orcas appear to...

Orcas Sink Yacht in Halloween Attack

They 'hit the steering fin for 45 minutes, causing major damage and leakage'

(Newser) - It could be the plot of a horror movie. A group of orcas attacked and sank a yacht in an attack that lasted for almost an hour on Halloween, a tour company says. In a post on Facebook , a Polish tour company said the orcas "hit the steering fin...

When Seattle Phones Ping, It's a Sign Whales Are Near

The AP looks at a popular WhatsApp chat group that alerts members to sightings

(Newser) - Peter Bates was dropping his car at the mechanic this month when a notification pinged on his phone: Killer whales were approaching his Seattle neighborhood. He hopped on a bus toward the water, then an electric bike. He was pedaling along a shoreline trail when orcas' black fins and white...

Orca Dies at Miami Seaquarium After Half-Century in Captivity
Orca, 57, Died From
Old Age, Chronic Illnesses

Orca, 57, Died From Old Age, Chronic Illnesses

Plans had been underway to return Lolita to her native waters from the Miami Seaquarium

(Newser) - Lolita, an orca whale held captive for more than a half-century, died from old age and multiple chronic illnesses, according to a report released Tuesday by the Miami Seaquarium. Lolita—also known as Tokitae, or Toki—died Aug. 18 at age 57. The veterinarian who conducted the necropsy found that...

Orca Moms Fight for Sons Even Into Old Age
Older Orca Moms
Defend Sons in Fights
New Study

Older Orca Moms Defend Sons in Fights

Males have less injuries in the presence of mothers, even after moms' menopause

(Newser) - Orca moms look after their sons for a surprisingly long time, a new study suggests. Researchers from the UK's University of Exeter found that killer whales who have passed through menopause will defend their adult male offspring in fights, though they don't appear to provide the same protection...

These Sea Mammals Can Never Live on Land Again
These Sea Mammals
Can Never Live on Land Again
New Study

These Sea Mammals Can Never Live on Land Again

New study is good news for anyone fearing the orcas are coming for their cars, too

(Newser) - Anyone surprised by recent news of orcas attacking boats might be relieved to know that scientists have determined these massive mammals have evolved to the point where they can never migrate back to land. The same applies to all whales and dolphins, and, in fact, all "fully aquatic" mammals,...

Aggressive Orcas Set Their Sights on Elite Yacht Race

Pod of killer whales goes after boats taking part in around-the-world Ocean Race near Spain

(Newser) - A pod of killer whales bumped one of the boats in an endurance sailing race as it approached the Strait of Gibraltar, the latest encounter in what researchers say is a growing trend of sometimes-aggressive interactions with Iberian orcas. The 15-minute run-in with at least three of the giant mammals...

Orcas Disable Boat, Stalk It as It's Towed to Shore
In a First, Orcas
Stalk Boat to Port
in case you missed it

In a First, Orcas Stalk Boat to Port

Killer whales disabled, followed vessel as it was towed back to shore

(Newser) - It's still unclear why a group of orcas is attacking the rudders of sailboats off the Iberian Peninsula. What is clear is that they're not letting up. There were 20 incidents in the Strait of Gibraltar in the month of May, per the Independent . And in one case,...

Endangered Orcas May Have Learned to Target Boats

Is it for fun? Or is it 'based on trauma'?

(Newser) - Scientists say a small group of killer whales could be putting humans and themselves in danger by repeatedly ramming, and occasionally sinking, sailboats. Orcas interacting with boats is nothing new. But scientists say there is something different about the behavior of this group of about 15 orcas off the coast...

Captured 53 Years Ago, This Orca Is Going Home

Miami Seaquarium working on arrangements to return 'Lolita' to Puget Sound

(Newser) - She was captured in the waters of Puget Sound in 1970 at age 4. More than a half-century later, plans are underway to return the orca known as Lolita to those same waters, reports the Miami Herald . The killer whale has been held all this time at the Miami Seaquarium,...

Forever Chemicals Invade Orcas—and Their Fetuses
Forever Chemicals Invade
Orcas—and Their Fetuses

Forever Chemicals Invade Orcas—and Their Fetuses

'We need to think about how this could affect our health,' says researcher

(Newser) - Researchers say they're "shocked and saddened" to have discovered toxic chemicals, including "forever chemicals," in the bodies of killer whales, including endangered southern resident orcas, whose population decline could be a direct result. Scientists from the University of British Columbia, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and BC'...

Pilot Whales Have Tricky Way to Fool Enemies
Pilot Whales
Fool Their
new study

Clever Pilot Whales Fool Their Rivals

Study suggests they mimic killer whales

(Newser) - Pilot whales in southern Australia appear to have developed a nifty technique for fooling rival killer whales—they pretend they're killer whales themselves. Researchers studied the calls of long-finned pilot whales in the region and found that the creatures mimic their larger rivals, reports ScienceDaily . In their study at...

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...

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...

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