VIDEO: Dolphins befriend killer whale off B.C. coast

Resident southern killer whales don’t naturally hunt dolphins

A group of dolphins has struck up an unlikely friendship with killer whales off the B.C. coast, footage from OceanWise released Monday shows.

Researchers from OceanWise captured the footage of Pacific white-sided dolphins interacting with resident killer whales last summer, and although they’re not sure why, they have a few ideas.

Dolphins are prey for transient (mammal eating) killer whales, but they aren’t part of the food chain for the fish-eating resident killer whales, said Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard, senior scientist and director of the Marine Mammal Research Program at the Coastal Ocean Research Institute.

VIDEO: Dolphins put on a show for BC Ferries customers

“What’s in it for the dolphins? It could be safety, for one thing,” said Barrett-Lennard.

“A white-sided dolphin travelling with resident killer whales isn’t going to be hunted by transients because the [different species of killer whales] avoid each other, so this dolphin doesn’t have a care in the world.”

The dolphins could also be checking out predators, Barrett-Lennard said, to be better prepared to face them later on.

“By spending time around killer whales they are learning more about them, about their speed and agility in the water, so it could help them avoid predation by other killer whales in the future,” he said.

READ MORE: New orca calf in Salish Sea ‘healthy and active’


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Home loss ends Vernon Vipers’ long weekend win streak

The Vernon Vipers ended the three games in three nights weekend with two wins, one loss

Family Day move a welcome change: poll

Okanagan readers voted that the new date for Family Day in B.C. is a positive change

Interior Savings looks to hand out bursaries

Applications open until Feb. 28

Vernon art gallery turns out the lights and throws a party

DJ, drinks and food at Art After Dark Feb. 23

A Mother’s Wish: Ryan Shtuka’s mother wants her son to be ‘forever known’

‍‍‍‍‍“Let me tell you a story …. it all began with a boy named Ryan”

Homicide police investigate assault turned deadly in Surrey

60-year-old man died at hospital after assault

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

B.C.’s top young skiers hit Sovereign Lake for Championships

Midget-age racers came from across the province

PHOTOS: Cracker Invitational at Swan Lake sees crowd

More than 30 enthusiasts met at Swan Lake Sunday

Deported B.C. man who came to Canada as a baby granted chance at return

Len Van Heest was deported to the Netherlands in 2017

Skate with the Vernon Vipers

Upcoming stars took to the ice with the Vernon Vipers Sunday

Most Read