Facts About Traveling Among Bering Whale Pods
For thousands of years, humankind has marveled over the Orca (orca whale) and its unique culture. Over the past few decades, however, there has been increased interest in Orcas specifically, and their behaviors, including their ability to communicate with humans, their diet, and their relationship to mother and calf. In this article, we’ll go into some of the basics on these amazing animals, as well as why you should care about them. We’ll also examine what makes them different from other whales, as well as what makes them unique among other cetaceans.
The Orca (orca whale) is the second largest member of the hammerhead family and exhibit a wide array of unique surface behaviors. You may occasionally see them slap their pectorals and flippers together, or breach, or even shops. They also travel in large groups, with up to thirty members at once – sometimes up to fifty-five – and travel at speeds up to sixty miles per hour. The large number of orca whales is a clear indicator that these animals are tightly bonds with their families, and travel in larger pods than other killer whales.
Their migratory paths take them through warm and tropical waters, traveling from the Southern Ocean up into the Arctic and even further offshore. Traveling with them is similar to traveling with any other mammal – they swim to warmer waters and make ports along beaches and islands. This natural history lends to the belief that they store vast stores of energy in their dense fur, allowing them to survive for long periods in cold waters. They have strong teeth and can bite powerfully – although some scientists think their teeth are not pre-cleansed like other killer whales, there is still evidence of fossilized teeth in their stomachs. They use their bites as weapons, crushing their prey to bits. They can grow to be nine feet long or more, with loads of powerful flippers.
One of their favorite feeding grounds is the coastal area near Bering Sea, off the coasts of Venezuela and Mexico. It is here, in the Lagoon of Necochea, that the only known species of the genus Rana, the only one of its kind, is found. There are only two known Rana populations in the world – one in the southern Atlantic, and one in the Pacific. It is estimated that there are less than 100 mature Rana in the world, with the numbers decreasing with age. The ecological and social structures of the ecotypes differ dramatically, with some living in isolation and without a sense of communal feelings or behavior.
In the Pacific, a third pod of Rana is found off the Bering Sea coast, but with a far different lifestyle. The Bering Sea Killer Whale Ecotype, unlike the Rana, is a migratory mammal, which means it travels in large groups. Mating is often part of their migration. The populations off Bering Sea have a sense of community and life dependability similar to those in the other two ecotypes.
The Southern resident whales tend to be the loudest of all the types of marine mammals. Their diet consists largely of fish. It is their food chain that makes them so valuable to fisheries – as the meat from their bones can add up to billions of dollars annually. These are some of the biggest whales and strongest creatures in the seas. These whales tend to stay close to shore, staying away from islands where prey is abundant.
There is also one sub-species of Orca, that is a unique blend of white coloring and black hair, known as the albino orca. Orca names have included the unusual Whalesplitter, Black Prince, or the Terror. These are examples of unique orcinuses. The most common Orca population is Bering Sea, which is why it is widely seen in diving photographs. Traveling in Bering Sea requires special permits and experience.
Traveling among the many pod whales in Bering Sea would require careful planning and long consideration. It is the travel patterns of the killer whales that are unique, because they tend to follow a predictable pattern when they return to their pods. Diving travel between pods will allow divers to see one another in their natural habitat.