Humpback whales intervene in killer whale hunt

by Rebecca on May 10, 2012

in Animal Stories

By Ella Davies Reporter, BBC Nature

A BBC/National Geographic film crew have recorded rare footage of humpback whales intervening in a killer whale hunt.

Ms Bromley told BBC Nature: “we saw a lot of grey shapes in the water and quickly realised they were humpbacks.” According to the crew the additional whales were not just observers of the hunt but were actively involved.

Humpback whales are known for their impressive range of calls, including a high-pitched “trumpeting” noise made when they are agitated. The humpbacks at Monterey Bay were trumpeting, diving and slapping their pectoral fins against the water. “It didn’t seem at all like they were confused… they were definitely there with a purpose,” said Ms Bromley.

Read more and watch the video at:


Whale facts

Gray whale (c)
  • Gray whales undertake the longest annual migration of any known mammal, a round trip of about 20,000km or more
  • Humpback whales perform spectacular displays of breaching (leaping clear of the water) and males sing a complex song that can last for days, in order to attract a mate
  • Killer whales are not actually whales at all – they are the largest species of dolphin

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