Orcas Cruise Alongside Jet Ski Off Kaikoura

StoryfulPublished: February 25, 2017385,360 views
Published: February 25, 2017

A group of orcas cruised around a jet ski off Kaikoura Peninsula, northeast of New Zealand’s South Island, on February 15. David Lyons, who runs a surf school in Kaikoura, captured the beautiful show put on by the killer whales. Lyons said the playful animals were “totally surrounding us and playing with the wake and bubbles, freely swimming underneath and beside us and slapping their flukes with excitement.”

Orcas are found throughout the world's seas, typically in extended pods, or family groups, that share a common dialect. Relationships with other pods can be deduced by determining the number of calls they share indicating degree of relatedness. Pods that share no calls are in different clans or communities. Though cosmopolitan in distribution they are most abundant in cold, temperate, coastal areas. In general, orca populations have probably been affected by human activities to a relatively small degree when compared with other marine mammal species. However, habitat degradation, prey depletion and pollution now threaten certain populations.

Whales make a wide variety of communicative sounds, and each pod has distinctive noises that its members will recognize even at a distance. They use echolocation to communicate and hunt, making sounds that travel underwater until they encounter objects, then bounce back, revealing their location, size, and shape.

(source: uk.whales.org; www.nationalgeographic.com)

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