Friday, February 12, 2010
Scientists from Aberdeen and St Andrews Universities say that they have discovered some incredible behavior on the part of Orcas living in the waters off the Shetland Islands. Specifically, by using underwater microphones they have observed the Killer Whales using low-pitched noise to frighten herring, causing them to bunch up, which allows the Orcas to stun the fish with their flukes before feeding upon them. Wow! Imagine that. I can just picture the scientists bobbing about in their Zodiacs out there on the cold North Sea, saying to each other, How on earth--or better yet, How in ocean--did these poor dumb beasts figure this out? How indeed. Oh well, in fairness I should at least mention that in his reporting on the research, Simon King of BBC2 observed that, “These are sentient animals, with complex family structures, but being so close you really get the sense that there is so much more to these creatures than we currently know.” Good for you, Mr. King. That’s a start. Now if we can just get the rest of mankind to agree, perhaps we could all live together in harmony on this blue space marble you call earth, but my kind knows as Planet Ocean.