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Discovery Magazine 1/1/2001

Why the "Kill" is in Killer Whale

The huge blue whale found itself surrounded by many ferocious killer whales. Two killer whales swam in front of the blue whale, two swam behind, and about 26 others surrounded their prey from the sides and underneath. They wanted to make sure that the blue whale did not get away. The killer whales attacked the blue whale for about five hours. Finally, the blue whale escaped, but not without being seriously injured.

The killer whale is one of the oceans' fiercest predators. In fact, it eats more mammals than any animal ever known. Male killer whales, known as bulls, are about 20 feet long and weigh around 10,000 pounds. Females, or cows, are slightly smaller. Their black and white coloring allows them to blend in with their watery environment, camouflaging them from prey. In the mouth of a killer whale, there are usually about 40-56 large teeth (many of which are about 3 inches long).

Orcas (another name for killer whales) often hunt in groups called pods, much like lions in a pride or wolves in a pack. These pods drive schools of fish or other prey into small areas and then move in for the kill. But the water is not the only place for an orca to find a tasty snack. Some killer whales have been known to get "a running start" and slide onto sand bars and icy land to attack their prey.

Killer whales hunt so well that very few animals can escape. Fish, squid, seals, sea lions, walruses, birds, otters, penguins, polar bears, reptiles, and even a moose have all been found in the stomachs of killer whales. Even the terrible great white shark has occasionally been the victim of a killer whale attack.

The question many of you might be asking is, "Do killer whales attack humans?" Amazingly, there have been no reports that any wild killer whale has killed a human.

Killer whales-are smart enough to hunt in groups or "slide" onto hµ1d to attack their prey. And they have special features (like teeth and body colors) that are perfectly designed for hunting. How could animals this complex have originated through a process of blind chance like evolution? The truth is that they did not evolve; God designed and created orcas. We should thank Him for such remarkable creatures.



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