Orcas, also known as killer whales, are actually part of the dolphin family. And they are fierce predators that hunt seals, sea lions, and even other whales. They are also one of the great white shark’s only predators. With a jaw full of 3-inch long teeth and top speeds of 30 miles per hour, it’s no wonder they’re such good hunters.
These animals are known for a pretty sinister behaviour: playing with their food before they eat it.
According to Newsweek, orcas might do this because seals, and other prey, have sharp claws, which could injure the whales. So, instead of risking being hurt, orcas batter their prey with head-on collisions or the slapping of their flukes and tail fins, until the prey can’t fight back anymore or dies.
And that’s what this orca — spotted last year off the coast of Victoria in British Columbia — appears to be doing in the video below:
One flip of the orca’s tail fin sends this seal flying almost 100 feet into the air.
Orcas are extremely intelligent, and they’re one of the most powerful animals on the planet, according to National Geographic. Orcas usually hunt in pods of up to 40 individuals, corralling their prey and sharing in the feast. This makes it very difficult for prey to escape.
Whale biologist Tiu Similä, who studies orcas’ feeding habits in Norway, told National Geographic that the animals often work together to injure their prey.
“Each whale has a role. It’s like a ballet, so they have to move in a very coordinated way and communicate and make decisions about what to do next,” said Similä.
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