There was no cooler place to have your birthday party.
1. Rare Whales On Film
Sometimes it pays off to be in the right place at the right time. According to the Washington Post, Slater Moore, photographer with the Monterey Bay Whale Watch, got lucky with his timing and captured this unique video of Orcas (also known as killer whales) feeding...on a shark. The video was filmed off the coast of Monterey, California.
Moore's video captures some amazing footage of a pod of whales feeding on a sevengill shark, as described by the Huffington Post. Two females can be seen, one carrying the shark, which is still alive, in her mouth. As the video progresses, you can see that two calves are also present.
While the shark may appear small in the Orca's mouth, this is no small prey. Sharksider explains that sevengill sharks can grow up to 10 feet in length and can weigh up to 236 pounds. The Orca tosses the shark around like it's nothing.
But what makes this video so special is the fact that it captures a rarely seen type of killer whale, or Orca: The offshore whale. The Washington Post states that offshore whales are rarely seen because they live and hunt so far from the shores of land.
According to Wild Whales, offshore Orcas are so rarely seen that they weren't even discovered until the 1980's. Scientists suspected that offshore whales preyed on sharks, but it was difficult to confirm. Two sightings in 2008 and 2009 did later confirm that these whales were eating sharks.
In addition to the offshore Orcas, there are two other types of Orca: the transient and the resident whale. Wild Whales states that resident Orcas range from the coasts of Alaska through Oregon and feed primarily on salmon. Transient Orcas, on the other hand, are found all around the west coast of America and feed on mammals such as seals and sea lions.
Orcas are fierce predators, and they must be able to catch prey in order to survive. According to National Geographic, Orcas can grow to weigh up to six tons, meaning that they have to eat massive amounts of food.
National Geographic states that Orcas live in pods, and these pods serve as hunting groups. Orcas tend to use cooperative hunting techniques which are similar to the ways that wolf packs work together to hunt prey.
We have this incredible video, filmed by Moore, all because of a bit of luck. A whale watching boat had spotted the offshore pod, and called the spotting in to the Sea Wolf II, which Moore was aboard. The boat set out and it took about 40 minutes to reach the location of the sighting, the Washington Post reports.
Believe it or not, Moore almost didn't get the footage of the Orca killing the shark, as he was about to stop filming. Moore told the Washington Post, “I was actually about to bring my drone in when we saw a bubble blast, a bunch of bubbles coming up to the surface. The next thing you know a killer whale comes up with a shark in its mouth.”
Not only does this video capture the rarely seen offshore whales, but it also documents how and on what they feed. Since we've only known about this type of whale for a short period of time, this video is even more significant and special.