Terengganu’s off-shore Pelantar Dulang Petronas oil drilling platform had some unusual visitors yesterday, after a pair of killer whales decided to get up close and personal with workers there.
Video footage of what marine researchers believe are a male and female orca (aka killer whale) was recorded by some of the Petronas employees on the platform, and judging by the dorsal fin placement on the pair, we are inclined to agree.
The Marine Mammals branch of the Rantau Abang Fisheries Research Institute (FRI), has said that this is the first recording of this species of whales being spotted in Terengganu waters. They estimate that the mammals were between six to eight meters each, individually weighing between 5,000-6,000 kilos.
Adding that the killer whale is the natural predator to a whole ocean of animals, it feeds on squid, turtles, seabirds, seals, DOLPHINS (cold, killer whales – cold), and even sharks, it is also a protected species so if you see one, contact your local state fisheries department.
Now, reader – it may or may not come as a surprise to you that as a wee one, Coconuts KL was a card-carrying member of the World Wildlife Fund, and parent to a pod of adopted whales (humpback, if you’re curious). Allow us to regale you with some whale facts, because what good is general knowledge if you can’t flex it once in a while.
As previously mentioned by our FRI, orcas are indeed at the top of the food chain, and are referred to as apex predators, as they are not prey to anything themselves. In Indigenous Arctic mythology, they are used to represent sundry things, from family, to longevity, and are closely related to humans in their lore.
Check out this Haida (First Nations people from British Columbia) art:
Sitting there, you may be wondering what killer whales are doing in tropical waters, and yes – they are mostly found in more frigid climes, but can be spotted all around the world, in every ocean, including the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, off the coast of Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea. These guys get around!
A group of whales is often referred to as a pod, a baby whale is called a calf, a female whale is called a cow, and a male whale is a bull.
And that completes today’s foray into marine biology. Learn something new every day, kids – it will keep you young.