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Norwegian orcas eat herring by cooperatively carousel feeding

Norwegian orcas “corral, stun, and devour” silver herring using a method called carousel feeding, a cooperative approach that’s very similar to “sheepdogs working a flock”. From Wikipedia:

An individual or small group of orcas will release bursts of bubble or flash their white undersides to round prey such as salmon or herring into a tight defensive bait ball close to the surface. The orcas then slap the ball with their tail, stunning or killing up to 10-15 herring with a successful slap. Carousel feeding has only been documented in the Norwegian orca population and with some oceanic dolphin species.

Orcinus orca or killer whales are the largest of the cetacean family Delphinidae.

In the video’s accompanying National Geographic article, cetacean biologist Tiu Similä explains, “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.” She also delves into the orcas’ tight-knit social bonds, and explains how little we know about them, despite the fact that they can be found in every ocean on the planet.

Watch this next: Orca Rescue in 4K.


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