How Much Do Killer Whales Eat?
These days, when most people think of how much do killer whales eat, they often don’t even realize what wild cats actually consume. In most parts of the globe, common killer whales seem to have a very diverse diet. Common killer whales are even reported to eat other forms of animals such as leatherback sea horses, moose, penguins, and even other sea birds and other mammals. Other than these, the animal is known to eat fish and other forms of meat, along with insects and berries.
The other large predatory animal in the ocean is the blue whale. It is also the most widely hunted animal in the marine wildlife industry. As the second largest predatory creature in the ocean, it is also the most hunted by humans: in some parts of the globe, the number of blue whales that are killed is considered to be in the hundreds.
Blue whales, like other killer whales, spend most of their time out at sea. They feed by stalking, capturing fish, and eating them before moving on to another area to feed on the fish caught in the previous pass. Because of their dietary habits, the diet of blue whales is much more diverse than that of other whales. While they’re out feeding, they’re very likely to come across sharks. While sharks aren’t considered to be a major portion of a blue whale’s diet (compared to the number of fish they kill), they are a hazard to the whales when they’re close to land.
Orcas are another consideration when figuring out how much do killer whales eat. Orcas belong to the class of cetaceans, which include whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Their diet generally consists of small fish, squid, crustaceans, snails, and algae. Their mating habits, especially when they’re among calves, can result in unusual fights among the pods, resulting in death or severe injury to many of the whales.
Sand Bars and Ice Breakers: Killer whales sometimes eat ice floes during their migration, as well as during the summertime when they head up to warmer waters. These creatures have large feet, making them great at walking along rocky areas in search of food. Because they live mostly on or around the ice, they often find themselves traveling through ice floes. In addition, they may venture into coastal areas where penguins gather, and make a home for baby or breeding whales.
The final consideration involves what the eating habits of killer whales and related whales, such as the common wapiti, reflect on their environment. According to Mark Etterburn of Emory University, this question must be addressed by observing the migration patterns. For example, if killer whales follow the West Coast Feeding Habits (WCA), they eat mostly vegetation in the ocean bottom as they pass through. If they move into the Bering Sea, they become opportunistic feeders, eating anything that can be grabbed quickly. In both cases, this makes the ecosystem highly dynamic, with two groups of creatures influencing each other’s activities on a daily basis. This dynamic also affects the migratory paths of whales, with certain species moving longer distances to get to places where other species have already been.