Orca

The pod emerges

White-flecked chatter flanks a school

Death makes room for life

Orcas (Orcinus orca, a.k.a killer whales) are one of the most recognizable organisms in the sea. This is probably due to their success in the animal entertainment world since their intelligence makes them prime candidates as show animals. As with many whales, Orcas are highly social animals that travel and hunt in pods. Being mammals, they dedicate much more time to parental care then most other marine animals. The Orca is a sophisticated and deadly hunting machine. They are apex predators. Until the modern age of man there was nothing in the sea that could hunt down an orca. While this may create an image of savage animals that destroy “helpless” organisms it’s important to understand that top predators are enormously important to ecosystems.  Without them, organisms lower down in the food chain would proliferate and the subtle mechanics of energy transfer breaks down.

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