Have you heard of the mysterious Orca whales? These orca whales have long been one of the most popular topics in the aquarium hobby. For a long time people have been wondering how these animals move. There are two schools of thought on this topic: the belief that they can swim simply because their rear ends are shaped like a propeller, and the other school of thought says they must use echolocation to navigate and locate food.
Well, whichever school you go to believe is true. What is known for sure is that orca whales do indeed swim using echolocation. Although there are not many orca whales with this ability around today (they were all removed from the Galapagos over fifty years ago) the ones that remain can detect sounds beneath the water that others can’t. In fact, some orca whales can be heard calling at times just below the surface of the water.
So how do orca whales move? The most likely scenario is that they swim by picking up sonar waves (like you would pick up an incoming radio signal on land) and use them to steer themselves through the water. The theory is that this process allows them to follow structures in the water. While this is a fascinating theory, it is not yet proven. We need more information on this subject before we can say for sure that these animals move using sonar. What we do know is that they are very old creatures and likely hundreds of years old.
The orca whales that were studied in the Galapagos Islands used a type of sonar called hyperspectral diving. This is when they dipped down into the water to look for fish below the surface of the water. The data gathered from this dive led to the conclusion that the orca whales move through water using sound. This is a great piece of information because it provides us with one of the key facts about these animals.
While their movements are still being studied, there is enough data out there that show that they move through water using sound. This means that they are not blind. In fact, it is not even a stretch to say that they can see, since they are very well developed eyesighted and their hearing is second to none.
It is important to understand that all of these characteristics make orca whales unique animals. Even though they are the largest known cetaceans, there are no others like them. There are only two other varieties of whales that are bigger than orca whales, and they are the blue whale and the fin whale. They are certainly close in size and appearance, but they are far from the biggest. While you may be tempted to think that there are not many big whales out there, you need to give them credit because they are definitely one of the most unique species of whales out there today.