Blue whales are the largest animals ever known to have lived on earth. It preys on other animals, but can anyone imagine it being preyed on by creatures far smaller than itself? Yes, this astonishing incident has been reported by a marine biologist named Kristy Brown in her blogpost dated March 16.
Kristy and her team run a company that takes people on whale-watching tours in Australia. She witnessed this remarkable event of knocking down of the mighty blue whale by 75 orcas in Bremer Bay Canyon, about 28 miles off the South-western coast of Australia.
“Today we saw nature in all of its glory, the harsh and the beautiful. Today we saw the Orcas of Bremer Bay Canyon hunt, and kill a juvenile Blue Whale,” she says on the blog.
According to Kristy, the struggle went on for an hour. The whale was estimated to be 16 meters [52 feet] long, with plenty of years left to live. It is unclear whether it was a juvenile blue whale or pygmy blue whale.
She also mentioned that even though the blue whale was nearly twice the length of the largest orca, which can grow to lengths of about 31 feet (9.5 m), it couldn’t shake off its pursuers. It was completely surrounded by orcas. “Multiple orcas were on the animal, jostling with it and swimming fast, beside and under it, whilst others dropped off the chase to rest in our wake and cruise along and beside the hunt, easily 200 m [656 feet] back,” she said.
Kristy also noted that orcas were “strategic, thoughtful, collaborative, patient [and] persistent,” and their main goal was to first tire their prey and then kill it.
They drove the blue whale from the roughly 3,280-foot-deep (1,000 m) Bremer Canyon system toward the shallower continental shelf, which is only about 262 feet (80 m) deep. Then, they chomp it down to pieces with their sharp teeth.