Watch How This Insanely Clever Orca Catches A Bird

Watch How This Insanely Clever Orca Catches A Bird

August 27, 2015 | by Danielle Andrew
photo credit: The orca lays her trap. Screengrab from YouTube
This incredible video by The Online Fisherman shows an orca using fish as bait in order to catch a bird.

At the beginning of the video, an orca emerges near a cluster of birds and deposits a fish. After setting its trap, the whale waits patiently for a foolhardy soul to take the bait, lunging forward and clamping onto the bird’s wing as it gingerly hops forward to retrieve the tasty snack – only to become a tasty snack itself.

According to phys.org, scientists use brain-weight-to-body-weight ratios as a rough measure of an animal’s intelligence. An orca’s brain is about 2.5 times the average – similar to the brain of a chimpanzee. However, some scientists believe that gauging intelligence using these ratios seriously underestimates the potential intelligence of large aquatic mammals, suggesting orcas may be even smarter than the size of their brain indicates.
Although this orca was in captivity at the time the footage was captured and therefore not representative of the species as a whole, intelligent and unexpected behavior has been well documented in these aquatic mammals for decades. In 2006, researchers at Marineland in Ontario, Canada, also observed an orca baiting birds by “spitting fish onto the water’s surface.” These creatures continue to surprise and amaze scientists as more and more is learned about their unique talents and abilities.
Arguments have been made that orcas should be released from captivity and given “non-human persons” status – not just for basic animal rights, but because the killer whale is so intelligent that the stress of a captive environment can be extremely psychologically detrimental to the animal.
An interesting figure to note is that there are no recorded cases of orcas killing a human in the wild, but as most of us are aware, there are various cases of the whales attacking and occasionally killing people when kept in captivity.
A full-length version of the video from CetusCetus can be viewed here
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