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Watch This Video: A Clever Orca’s Bird Hunt


Image credit: The orca lays her trap. Screenshot from YouTube

From this amazing video presented by The Online Fisherman, you can see how an orca intends to capture a bird by using fish as bait.

At the start of the video, you can see an orca turning up a flock  of birds and place a fish nearby. When its trap is ready, the orca is waiting with patience for a foolhardy bird to get the bait, and then it plunges forward and clamps onto the bird’s wing as it carefully jumps forward to capture the delicious snack, however sadly it has turned to be a tasty snack itself.

According to phys.org, in order to roughly assess an animal’s intelligence, scientists apply brain-weight-to-body-weight ratios to such measurement. An orca’s brain is around 2.5 times the average, which is nearly equal to the brain of a chimpanzee. But some scientists argue  that measuring intelligence with these ratios can not correctly  illustrate the potential intelligence of large aquatic mammals, so they believe that orcas might be much cleaver than the size of their brain reveals.

While this orca was observed in captivity to capture its prey just when the video was taken, it might not be typical of the species as a whole. However, for past many years, intelligent and unexpected behavior has been widely recorded in these aquatic mammals. For example, in 2006, scientists at Marineland in Ontario, Canada, found that an orca baited birds by “spitting fish onto the water’s surface.” Such  creatures have been continuously astonishing scientists as they learn more about the unique talents and abilities of these aquatic mammals.

There are some debate going on that orcas should be set free of captivity and placed in “non-human persons” status, which should be done not only for basic animal rights, but more importantly, as the killer whale is very smart, the stress of being in captivity could be greatly harmful to the animal in psychological sense.

It is quite interesting that no orcas are recorded to kill a human in the wild, but it is commonly known that some of the whales do attack and in some occasion kill people when they are kept in the captive environment.

For more information, please watch a full-length version of the video from CetusCetu here.