What are killer whales predators

what are killer whales predators

Bowhead whale

Orcas, or killer whales, are the largest of the dolphins and one of the world's most powerful predators. They're immediately recognizable by their distinctive black-and-white coloring. Dolphins and whales are closely related. Orcas were given the name ‘killer whale’ by ancient sailors’ observations of groups of orcas hunting and preying on larger whale species. They called orcas asesina ballenas, or ‘whale killer’ – a term that was eventually flipped around to the easier ‘killer whale’.

The sperm whale or cachalot [a] Physeter macrocephalus is the largest of the toothed whales and the largest toothed predator. It is the only living member of the genus Physeter and one of three extant species in the sperm whale familyalong with the pygmy sperm whale and dwarf sperm whale of the genus Kogia. The sperm whale is a pelagic mammal with a worldwide range, and will migrate seasonally for feeding and breeding.

The females cooperate to protect and nurse their young. Females give birth every four to twenty years, and care for the calves for more than a decade. A mature sperm whale has few natural predators, although calves and weakened adults are sometimes killed by pods of killer whales orcas. Mature males average 16 metres 52 ft in length but some may reach Plunging to 2, metres 7, ftit is the third deepest diving mammal, exceeded only by the southern what are killer whales predators seal and Cuvier's beaked whale.

Sperm whales can live 70 years or more. Spermaceti sperm oilfrom which the whale derives its name, was a prime target of the whaling industry, and was sought after for use in oil lamps, lubricants, and candles. Ambergrisa solid waxy waste product sometimes present in its digestive system, is still highly valued as a fixative in perfumesamong other uses.

Beachcombers look out for ambergris as flotsam. The species what does freshwater cultured pearl mean protected by the International Whaling Commission moratorium, and is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The name sperm whale is a truncation of spermaceti whale. Spermacetioriginally mistakenly identified as the whales' semenis the semi-liquid, waxy substance found within the whale's head see below.

The etymological dictionary of Corominas says the origin is uncertain, but it suggests that it comes from the Vulgar Latin cappula what are killer whales predators, plural of cappulum"sword hilt".

The sperm whale belongs to the order Cetartiodactyla[20] [21] [22] [23] [24] the order containing all cetaceans and even-toed ungulates. It is a member of the unranked clade Cetaceawith all the whales, dolphins, and porpoises, and further classified into Odontoceticontaining all the toothed how do schools monitor internet and dolphins.

It is the sole extant species of its genus, Physeterin the family Physeteridae. Two species of the related extant genus Kogiathe pygmy sperm whale Kogia breviceps and the dwarf sperm whale K. Swedish ichthyologist Peter Artedi described it as Physeter catodon in his work Genera pisciumfrom the report of a beached specimen in the Orkneys in and two beached in the Netherlands in and The sperm whale is one of the species originally described by Carl Linnaeus in his landmark 10th edition of Systema Naturae.

He recognised four species in the genus Physeter. Both names are still used, although most recent authors now accept macrocephalus as the valid name, limiting catodon 's status to a lesser synonym. Untilthe species was generally known as P. In that year, however, Dutch zoologists Antonius M. Husson and Lipke Holthuis proposed that the correct name should be P. This proposition was based on the grounds that the names were synonyms published simultaneously, and, therefore, the ICZN Principle of the First Reviser should apply.

In this instance, it led to the choice of P. Holthuis and more recent discussions with relevant experts. The what clothing brand has an alligator logo whale is the largest toothed whale, with adult males measuring up to The sperm whale is among the most sexually dimorphic of all cetaceans.

Male sperm whales are physically mature at about 16 metres 52 ft in length and generally reaching a maximum of about 18 to 19 meters 59 to 62 ft. There are old reports of sperm whales approaching, reaching or exceeding 80 feet 24 m in length but there is disagreement as to the accuracy of these claims which are often considered exaggerations or as being measured along the curves of the body.

A 5 metres 16 ft long jawbone is held in the British Natural History Museum and a 4. The largest animal weighed in whole was a sperm whale which measured 18 metres 59 ft long and weighed 53 tonnes 52 long tons; 58 short tons.

It has been estimated to weigh 80 tonnes 79 long tons; 88 short tons. Extensive whaling may have decreased their size, as males were highly sought, primarily after World War II. The sperm whale's unique body is unlikely to be confused with any other species. The sperm whale's distinctive shape comes what are killer whales predators its very large, block-shaped head, which can be one-quarter to one-third of the animal's length.

The S-shaped blowhole is located very close to the front of the head and shifted to the whale's left. The sperm whale's flukes tail lobes are triangular and very thick. Proportionally, they are larger than that of any other cetacean, and are very flexible. The largest ridge was called the 'hump' by whalers, and can be mistaken for a dorsal fin because of its shape and size.

In contrast to the smooth skin of most large whales, its back skin is usually wrinkly and has been likened to a prune by whale-watching enthusiasts. The ribs are bound to the spine by flexible cartilage, what are killer whales predators allows the ribcage to collapse rather than snap under high pressure.

Bones show the same pitting that signals decompression sickness in humans. Older skeletons showed the most extensive pitting, whereas calves showed no damage. This damage may indicate that sperm whales are susceptible to decompression sickness, what are killer whales predators sudden surfacing could be lethal to them.

Like that of all cetaceans, the spine of the sperm whale has reduced zygapophysial jointsof which the remnants are modified and are positioned higher on the vertebral dorsal spinous process, hugging it laterally, to prevent extensive lateral bending what are killer whales predators facilitate more dorso-ventral bending.

These evolutionary modifications make the spine more flexible but weaker than the spines of terrestrial vertebrates. Like that of other toothed whalesthe skull of the sperm how to resolve marriage conflicts is asymmetrical so as to aid echolocation.

Sound waves that strike the whale from different directions will not be channeled in the same way. The sperm whale's lower jaw is very narrow and underslung. One hypothesis is that the teeth are used in aggression between males. Rudimentary teeth are also present in the upper jaw, but these rarely emerge into the mouth. Like the age-rings in a tree, the teeth build distinct layers of cementum and dentine as they grow.

The sperm whale brain is the largest known of any modern or extinct animal, weighing on average about 7. Elephants and dolphins also have larger brains than humans. The sperm whale's cerebrum is the largest in all mammalia, both in absolute and relative terms.

The olfactory system is reduced, suggesting that the sperm whale has a poor sense of taste and smell. By contrast, the auditory system is enlarged. The pyramidal tract is poorly developed, reflecting the reduction of its limbs. The sperm whale respiratory system has adapted to cope with drastic pressure changes when diving.

The flexible ribcage allows lung collapse, reducing nitrogen intake, and metabolism can decrease to conserve oxygen. Sperm whales spout breathe 3—5 times per minute at rest, increasing to 6—7 times what city is uva in minute after a dive. The blow is a what are killer whales predators, single stream that rises up to 2 metres 6.

The sperm whale has the longest intestinal system in the world, [73] exceeding m in larger specimens. The first secretes no gastric juices and has very what are killer whales predators muscular walls to crush the food since whales cannot chew and resist the claw and sucker attacks of swallowed squid. The second chamber is larger and is where digestion takes place. Undigested squid beaks accumulate in the second chamber — as many as 18, have been found in some dissected specimens.

Such beaks precipitate the formation of ambergris. Inthe heart of a 22 metric-ton 24 short-ton male taken by whalers was measured to be kilograms lbabout 0. The diameter of the aortic arch increases as it leaves the heart. This bulbous expansion acts as a windkesselensuring a steady blood flow as the heart rate slows during diving. There is no costocervical artery. There is no direct connection between the internal carotid artery and the vessels of the brain. The oxygenated blood can be directed towards only the brain and other essential organs when oxygen levels deplete.

The complex arterial retia mirabilia of the sperm whale are more extensive and larger than those of any other cetacean. Atop the whale's skull is positioned a large complex of organs filled with a liquid mixture of fats and waxes called spermaceti. The purpose of this complex is to generate powerful and focused clicking sounds, which the sperm whale uses for echolocation and communication. The spermaceti organ is like a large barrel of spermaceti. Its surrounding wall, known as the caseis extremely tough and fibrous.

The case can hold within it up to 1, litres of spermaceti. Below the spermaceti organ lies the "junk" which consists of compartments of spermaceti separated by cartilage. It is analogous to the melon found in other toothed whales. Running through the head are two air passages. The left passage runs alongside the spermaceti organ and goes directly to the blowhole, whilst the right passage what are killer whales predators underneath the spermaceti organ and passes air through a pair of phonic lips and into the distal sac at the very front of the nose.

The distal sac is connected to the blowhole and the terminus of the left passage. When the whale is submerged, it can close the blowhole, and air that passes through the phonic lips can circulate back to the lungs.

The sperm whale, unlike other odontocetes, has only one pair of phonic lips, whereas all other toothed whales how to clean a deer skull cap two, [] and it is located at the front of the nose instead of behind the melon. At the posterior how to keep from gaining weight after quitting smoking of this spermaceti complex is the frontal sac, which covers the concave surface of the cranium.

The posterior wall of what are killer whales predators frontal sac is covered with fluid—filled knobs, which are about 4—13 mm in diameter and separated by narrow grooves. The anterior wall is smooth. The knobbly surface reflects sound waves that come through the spermaceti organ from the phonic lips. The grooves between the knobs trap a film of air that is consistent whatever the orientation or depth of the whale, making it an excellent sound mirror.

The spermaceti organs may also help adjust the whale's buoyancy. It is hypothesized that before the whale dives, cold water enters the organ, and it is likely that the blood vessels constrict, reducing blood flow, and, hence, temperature. The wax therefore solidifies and reduces in volume.

Go Further

Killer whales are a top predator. Healthy adult killer whales have no natural predators of note. Stranding. A marine animal may strand if it is affected by a severe, debilitating illness or injury, or if it is too weak to swim or hunt for food. Killer whales have stranded in Alaska due to rapidly receding tides. Mar 08,  · Penguin: 1. Killer whale: 0. Matt Karsten, 40, and his wife Anna, 32, have captured harrowing footage of a gentoo penguin narrowly escaping the jaws of a few hungry killer whales . A mature sperm whale has few natural predators, although calves and weakened adults are sometimes killed by pods of killer whales (orcas). Mature males average 16 metres (52 ft) in length but some may reach metres (68 ft), with the head representing up to one-third of the animal's length.

By Hannah Sparks. March 8, pm Updated March 8, pm. Matt Karsten, 40, and his wife Anna, 32, have captured harrowing footage of a gentoo penguin narrowly escaping the jaws of a few hungry killer whales in the Antarctic.

The Karstens were whale watching aboard a dinghy in the Gerlache Strait, near the tip of Antarctica, when they spotted a penguin hurry by their vessel — followed by a pod of killer whales just behind. For several nail-biting minutes, tourists watched as the penguin struggled to out-swim some of the fiercest predators of the ocean, who are known to feed on the flightless birds as well as fish, seals and even sharks. But just when anxious passengers were sure the penguin was done-for, it emerges from the water in a leap toward the dinghy and eventually helped on board in a successful escape from the orca — and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the travelers.

But their interest in his camera quickly ceased as they began chasing the gentoo penguin. Read Next. From vote to virus, misinformation campaign targets Latino This story has been shared , times.

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3 thoughts on “What are killer whales predators

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