Saturday, November 11, 2006

Killer Whales: A dramatic look

In this stunning video posted on National Geographic News, two killer whales, or orcas, halfway beach themselves in pursuit of sea lion pups on the shore of Argentina. Once the two orcas (who are known to be brothers) have filled up their stomachs, they grab another pup and use it in what humans would call a sadistic game, tossing it back and forth to each other - in one case, batting it into the air with a mighty tail. Amazingly, the pup is not killed in this game. Even more amazingly, one whale takes the pup back to shore and releases it. Cetologists are puzzled, to say the least, at this behavior... just one more reminder of how hard it is to understand what goes on in the brain of another species.

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