If you have seen whales orca, or at least heard their sound then you are very much familiar with them. These massive mammals call the waters of the Arctic Circle home and are often hunted for their meat. Orca, or whales, are known for their gentle movement, their large size and, of course, the unique sounds they make. Apart from the spectacular sight of whales, the icy water, the great temperature swings and the challenge of tracking one down alive are what make whales the most popular creatures in the ecosystem. But like other whales, orca are shy and elfin.
The orca or whale is a member of the dolphin family, which it is by far the biggest member. It is easily recognizable by its massive black-and white striped body, marked with white spots. The eyes of a whale are highly developed and found in the eye capsule, near the top of the head. The other distinguishing feature of whales is its broad neck. In order to fit in with its highly developed sense of smell, whales have a very large brain.
Whales travel in pods. A pod is usually accompanied by a great number of killer whales, their nearest companions. If a pod does not contain a single killer whale, it will be followed by a large school of dolphins.
In the late summer to early autumn, whales return to their calving grounds in the southern Indian Ocean. During this time, the Killer whales, the largest among all the orca, can be spotted along the shores of Trinidad, Tobago, Cape Town and St Lucia. There, even though there are only a few pods, the number of killer whales is much higher than that of the other whales. However, it is rare to find any black or white dolphin during this time.
A breeding ground for baleen whales is found along the east coast of Trinidad. The population consists mainly of humpback and red dolphins as well as several varieties of killer whales. A special hunting technique is used in which the hunter slips into the water behind the killer whales and waits for the baleen to come up to the surface of the water. Then, armed with a harpoon, the hunter aims to latch on to the baleen whale’s neck and wrestle it into the water.
In June to August, the eastern north atlantic sees the most intense activity with pods consisting of one or two black, grey or white whales. Pods are much like the western Pacific fleet in that they feed primarily on small fish species like hoki, tuna and squids. However, unlike the whales of the western Pacific, the eastern north atlantic killer whales make detours into farther waters searching for their much larger prey, including blue marlins, rock fishermen, sharks and porpoises. Pods are also known to travel up the West Coast of Trinidad and Tobago to feed on whales, dolphins and other large marine creatures. At times these pods are quite large, up to 100 whales in size.