Orcas are well-known hunters that rule the ocean as untouchable apex predators.
Hunting in groups called “pods” to take down prey, they’ve often been called the “wolves of the sea.” From sea lions to sharks, there are few animals these ingenious hunters can’t nab when they work together.
Even on land, potential prey aren’t entirely safe. Orcas are highly intelligent marine mammals, and they hunt in a highly-organized and strategic fashion. If their prey is within their grasp, they will figure out a way to capture it, in or out of the water.
And, no wonder. Orcas have the second largest brains of all marine mammals, after the sperm whale, and they are well-equipped for processing their environment in sophisticated ways.
They deliberately teach hunting techniques to their kin, ensuring that the entire pod functions as efficiently as possible — and they communicate using specialized local dialects.
In the amazing footage below, watch as a pod of killer whales in Antarctica deploys a coordinated attack on a seal. Remarkably, the orcas work together—even involving the youngest among them—to create waves that wash the unfortunate seal right off the ice floe and into the dark, frigid waters:
This isn’t the first time killer whales have been observed using this wave technique against seals. In some instances, they will even create waves underneath the ice to break up large pieces.
The poor seal simply had no chance against these highly intelligent creatures. This kind of sophisticated cooperation is the example of why orcas are such effective hunters.