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The orca did what?! Footage of a killer whale launching a seal 80 feet in the air has caught many people’s attention. In the video, the large mammal hits the seal with its tail fin, sending its prey soaring through the air. Taken off the coast of Victoria, British Columbia, the video currently has over a 1 million views on YouTube.
Now, we’re pretty sure that everyone is curious if this is a common thing. I mean, it’s never been filmed like this before.
Rudiger Riesch, a scientist at the University of London, says that killer whales actually hit seals with their tails frequently. Many marine mammals such as seals and sea lions have sharp claws and teeth that could seriously injure the whale. To safely maneuver around its prey, the killer whale will debilitate it before getting too close to it, usually slapping the prey with its flukes or tail fins. This can go on for 30 minutes or longer.
Whale experts also believe that the mammals might just do it for fun, their version of “playing with food.” This feeding trick can trace back to mothers teaching their young how to hunt and can be passed down through family groups. Who knew there was such a thing as “family traditions” for whales.
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