Nederlands | English | Deutsch

Project Sports

Questions and answers about sports

Do killer whales chew their food?

3 min read

Asked by: Jason Schumacher

Orcas do not chew their food. They can swallow small seals and sea lions whole. The prey slides down the orcas’ throats! Bigger prey is eaten in chunks.

Do whales chew their food?

Whales within this suborder use their teeth differently. Some of them chew their food, while others swallow their prey whole. Some whales with teeth use them to demonstrate dominance, especially during the mating season. Whales possess a varying number of teeth, depending on the individual species.

How do killer whales digest their food?

Pre-digested food is stored there. This compartment breaks down the food by mechanical muscular movements called peristalsis. Everything is then directed toward the main stomach (or cardiac stomach), where glands produce acid and enzymes used to digest the food (hydrochloric acid, pepsin).

How do killer whales eat their prey?

How do orcas hunt? Herding fish before stunning them with tail strikes is one of many ways in which these predators hunt their prey. As highly intelligent predators, orcas also work together in coordinated attacks to create waves that can knock prey off floating ice into the water.

Why do killer whales throw their food?

The orcas will often put on dramatic displays with prey when socializing, learning or playing, she said, and may not even eat the animal. Tossing a seal might be a particular whale’s hunting style to disable the animal, but it’s not essential to kill a seal, which is easy prey for Bigg’s killer whales, Hildering said.

How do whales poop?

When a whale releases its excrement the whales poop comes out as an almost liquid form of fecal matter (often in a plume-like cloud) and is light enough that it does not sink to the bottom sea but floats across the top of the ocean; in some cases the excrement may also come out in chunks rather than a plume-like cloud.

How many stomachs do orca have?

They, along with other baleen whales, are considered to have three stomachs — or four if one counts a swelling at the start of the small intestine. The fore stomach churns things up but does little breakdown.

Do killer whales like to play with their food?

Killer whales are notorious for playing with their prey. They flip dolphins out of the water, toss sea lions in the air, and gang up to wash seals off icebergs. While seemingly playful, this behaviour might actually be a strategic hunting tactic.

Do orcas play with their food before eating it?

Some scientists believe killer whales play with their food before they eat it for the sheer joy of the hunt and the companionship the experience creates. In captivity, joy is nowhere to be found. Killer whales were built to slide effortlessly through the ocean’s cold waters in search of their next meal.

What does it mean when an orca slaps its tail?

There are a few reasons whales tail slap but the main reason is to warn off predation or over bearing males &/or females. It is a defensive action and depending upon the energy in the tail slap generally indicates what the communication is all about.

Can killer whales jump out of the water?

Turning our attention back to Killer Whales, a good time to see them leaping out the water is during a hunt. Air is 800 times less dense than water and so a jump gives the Killer Whale a good advance on its prey.

Why do whales explode?


And as a whale has strong blubber a thick layer of vascularized fatty tissue under the already tough skin these gases have no way to escape as a result it creates a highly acidic.