All posts tagged: killer whales

Why Do Animals Play? – The Atlantic

Why Do Animals Play? – The Atlantic

Orcas sank another yacht near the Iberian Peninsula in November. Members of a pod had been ramming and shaking boats in the area for more than three years, and had now sunk four. Many observers believed the orcas were attacking their boats, perhaps taking revenge on fishermen. But both boaters and scientists wondered if the orcas were playing, and the marine biologists who study this group think it may be a fad. “The consensus is that they’re doing this to show off,” the director of science at an ocean-conservation group said. (As fads do, this one may have spread; a yacht had been rammed near Scotland in June.) This is no consolation to sailors, some of whom have tried to take their own revenge on the orcas, shooting at them, lighting firecrackers, and playing heavy-metal music underwater to drive them away. Explore the April 2024 Issue Check out more from this issue and find your next story to read. View More We project a great deal onto animals. They are elevated into ideals of love …

South Africa’s Great White Sharks Were Chased Away. That’s Great News.

South Africa’s Great White Sharks Were Chased Away. That’s Great News.

This article was originally published by Hakai Magazine. To see a great white shark breach the waves, its powerful jaws clasping a shock-struck seal, is to see the very pinnacle of predatory prowess. Or so we thought. Several years ago, in South Africa, the world was reminded that even great white sharks have something to fear: killer whales. Long before they started chomping on yachts, killer whales were making headlines for a rash of attacks on South African great white sharks. The killings were as gruesome as they were impressive. The killer whales were showing a deliberate sense of culinary preference, consuming the sharks’ oily, nutrient-rich livers but leaving the rest of the shark to sink or wash up on a nearby beach. After the initial news of the attacks, the situation only got weirder. Great white sharks started disappearing from some of their best-known habitats around South Africa’s False Bay and Gansbaai regions, in the country’s southwest. Read: Killer whales are not our friends “The decline of white sharks was so dramatic, so fast, …