Nature Knowledge

5 Reasons Killer Whales are Amazing

13914020_10157266172575554_3430331194881146364_o.jpg

There probably isn’t one person out there who would say they’ve seen that iconic white and black finned creature and say they haven’t been moved. That’s because killer whales are more than just cute, magical creatures - their power and importance in the ecosystem is unmatched. They are apex predators, and actually dolphins - but their fierce ability to kill whales is how they earned their name. Here are 5 reasons why killer whales are some of the most amazing creatures alive!

  1. Killer Whales are Empathetic

    According to a killer whale’s brain, they might even be more empathetic than humans. A killer whale once carried around their dead calf for 17 days in mourning.

  2. Killer Whales can live up to around 80 years old

    Killer whales live long lives, like you and me. The oldest recorded female orca potentially lived to the ripe old age of 105 (age unclear)

  3. Killer Whales Can Eat Sharks

    The Offshore Killer whales had one mysterious clue hidden in their jaws -worn down teeth. Scientists soon realized their teeth were being worn down by the sandpappery skin of their prey - sharks!

  4. There are 10 Different Species of Killer Whales

    It’s a common misconception that there is only one type of Killer Whale. The whales are so different in fact, they don’t even eat the same prey! Before scientists realized there were different species, a marine mammal eating species of whale in captivity refused to eat the fish scientists fed it because it was not their diet - the whale would rather starve. The 10 different species swim in different oceans, eat different foods and even speak different languages!

  5. Killer Whales Have Names

    The Southern Resident Killer Whales that swim along the BC coast all have names, just like you and me. Their declining population (73, down from 76 earlier this summer) has led scientists to keep a close eye on them. Pollution, prey availability (chinook salmon) and boats have all led to their endangered status.

    Don’t worry - you can help.

    1. Adopt a whale: www.killerwhale.org

    2. Citizen Science: report and take photos of a killer whale if you see one: WhaleReport app

    3. Farmed salmon is greatly endangering wild salmon: Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood

    4. Participate in your local beach clean up

      Find your local MP and write to them

    Let’s do everything we can to help our finned friends out!

    Team Ripple Coast

5 Things You Might Find on Your Next Forest Adventure

All around us at any given time there are millions of different, identifying living being doing all sorts of weird, fascinating things to survive and thrive. How many of these phenomena do you know?

Ready to go on a Nature scavenger hunt? Let’s go!

  1. Evidence of woodpeckers/bugs

Yum, what’s inside this tree?

Yum, what’s inside this tree?

Next time you’re walking in the woods, look carefully at the trees around you. Are there holes in the trees? Do the trees look like they have a tough exterior? How can an animal get through it?

These holes were likely made by a wood pecker looking for tasty grub. And if you could zoom into this tree, you’ll probably see evidence of bugs (fine sawdust-like stuff that’s actually bug poop or line-like holes!)

2. Fungi

Who’s the fun-guy here?!

Who’s the fun-guy here?!

Fungi looove decomposing! In fact, it’s their job to break down nutrients from fallen trees so younger trees can reuse them. It’s like your older family members helping the younger generation out. Look closely at these fun guys - they come in all different shapes and sizes! In fact, the Jellied Bird’s Nest Fungi looks like a miniature nest filled with eggs!

Teeny, tiny bird’s nest…You’ll have to get up really close to find these!

Teeny, tiny bird’s nest…You’ll have to get up really close to find these!

3. Nurse Logs

Two BFFs

Two BFFs

Speaking of helping one another out, nurse logs are another way the forest lends its neighbours a helping hand! When a tree dies it’s only halfway done its job - a nurse log provides nutrients for younger plants like this red huckleberry here.

Continuing on the topic of decomposition you might also find…

5. Evidence of Lightning

When you really look out for these, you might be surprised at how many you can find!

When you really look out for these, you might be surprised at how many you can find!

Trees are tall, which means they make natural lighting rods - the first and tallest thing that lightning might strike. Look around for these the next time you’re in a forest because there’s probably more of these than you firs think! Again decomposing trees means nutrients for the next generation…that’s almost like a free meal!

That’s it for now! Happy exploring!
Team Ripple Coast