Dall’s porpoises flirting with danger……

Dall’s porpoises flirting with danger……

Flat, mirror like waters were suddenly broken by the splash of Dall’s porpoises swimming around a large male killer whale. These creatures seem to have the adrenaline-addiction gene. Riding the bow wave of an orca is not exactly the best idea for a cetacean one seventh of their size. Although our resident whales are fish eaters, there have been accounts of instances in which southern residents have killed Dall’s porpoises while at play. Whether a challenge or a game, the Dall’s seemed the most interested in the interaction as the killer whale seemed to zig-zag her path trying to shake them off.

Whatever the reasons behind this dangerous game, to us humans it was like seeing a mini-orca and a full sized one side to side, sizing each other up, comparing dorsals, comparing speed…or perhaps simply having a profound inter-species recognition. Dall’s have never been preyed upon by southern resident killer whales, so it is conceivable that the few deaths reported from “play-like” interactions were just unfortunate consequences from the orca’s inability to measure its own strength against their much smaller “play-mate”. The short, playfull and peaceful  interaction we were able to witness was certainly awe inspiring.

(images in uploading process, server errors)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.