Minke Whale Hunt
The Superior Strategy of the Killer Whale Pod
Humpback whales drive the krill to the surface then strain it from the water with their baleen sieves in their mouths. Humpbacks often feed in teams, so the overspill from one huge mouth can be collected by another just behind.
The abundance of krill attracts other visitors to the peninsula in the summer; Antarctic minke whales, their pointed heads and short dorsal fins
give them speed and endurance. And, they need both.
There are other whales here too; killers. This is an extended family of mothers and their young and a male with a huge dorsal fin almost 2 m high. A lone Minke whale, is just what this group of killer whales is looking for.
Antarctic Minke Whalr
Working as a team, as they have done for decades, they span out across the strait in search of their quarry.
The Minke races away pursued by
outriders on each flank. Terrified, the Minke heads for the shore. It's so desperate to escape it almost beaches itself. It makes a desperate
break for freedom.
Killer Whales in Pursuit
Two hours and 20 miles later, the Minke is still alive and swimming strongly, it's only real defence is it's endurance. But, the killers work as a
team fresh ones replacing the outriders in relays and as the Minke tires, the battering and the biting begins. Seabirds are attracted by the smell of
fresh blood that is rising from the water.
The killers try to flip the minke over, if they can manage to keep it's blowhole underwater, it will drown. One forces the Minke's whole body down below the surface and then, the final strike the team drag the Minke under for the last time and the hunters can finally feed.