Humpback whales saving animals from Orcas

#2
The behavior is interesting, but the conclusion that they are drawing seems flimsy. They basically posit that humpbacks are "trolling" orcas to protect their calves, but that hasn't happened (nor will happen, orcas are apex predators for a reason) despite them claiming that it is a common occurrence. Also, direct agression would certainly drive that point across, simply causing the orcas to veer away from them as a whole instead of just the calves.

It is not the only example of random inter-species compassion in the record (dolphins saving humans are reported with relative frequency, for example), but it seems like they are usually swept under the rug. I guess that we need to keep "survival of the fittest" in its unreachable pedestal, god forbid that we grant these creatures more complexity than they are worth.
 
Last edited:
#3
The behavior is interesting, but the conclusion that they are drawing seems flimsy. They basically posit that humpbacks are "trolling" orcas to protect their calves, but that hasn't happened (nor will happen, orcas are apex predators for a reason) despite them claiming that it is a common occurrence. Also, direct agression would certainly drive that point across, simply causing the orcas to veer away from them as a whole instead of just the calves.

It is not the only example of random inter-species compassion in the record (dolphins saving humans are reported with relative frequency, for example), but it seems like they are usually swept under the rug. I guess that we need to keep "survival of the fittest" in its unreachable pedestal, god forbid that we grant these creatures more complexity than they are worth.
Yes, that is why I posted it. Their explanations seem flimsy. I can't post much right now because I'm on mobile, but I am glad someone said it. If you are interested, I will post more about it when I have access to a keyboard and NOT a touchscreen. :)
 
#4
I absolutely love this. :D

It reminds me of a story I heard on a podcast some time ago. A woman who often did early morning swims off the California coast came across a whale calf (not sure which species, but I think grey) that seemed to have lost its mother. She kept swimming, keeping an eye out for the mother and found the calf was following her. She decided to stay with the calf as long as she could in the hopes that she could somehow keep it safe until (hopefully) Momma whale found her calf. She started to get tired and started talking to the calf saying she wasn't sure how much longer she could stay with it, and she found the calf started swimming in such a way that it helped push her forward. Eventually the mother did find the calf. But before she and the whales parted ways, the mother swam up close to her, rolled so that one large eye could make eye contact with her. They locked eyes for a moment, and the woman says she felt gratitude from the mother for staying with her calf. She says it was the single most beautiful moment of her life, and I was in tears by the end of it.

I wish I could remember the name of the podcast. But I too think they are really underestimating the ability for other species to feel and show empathy here. Dogs are known for showing selflessness when it comes to helping/protected their owners (or parents as I like to think of it). Humans have long underestimated the cognitive abilities of other species. I'm glad to see that this is changing somewhat.
 
#5
I thought this story was interesting too.

http://www.cbc.ca/strombo/news/sayi...apparent-vigil-to-mourn-their-human-friend.ht

"Back in March, Lawrence Anthony, a conservationist and author known as "The Elephant Whisperer", passed away. After his death, although they were not alerted to the event, a group of wild elephants Anthony helped to rescue and rehabilitate travelled to his house in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. They stood around the house in an apparent vigil for two days, and then dispersed."
 
#6
I thought this story was interesting too.

http://www.cbc.ca/strombo/news/sayi...apparent-vigil-to-mourn-their-human-friend.ht

"Back in March, Lawrence Anthony, a conservationist and author known as "The Elephant Whisperer", passed away. After his death, although they were not alerted to the event, a group of wild elephants Anthony helped to rescue and rehabilitate travelled to his house in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. They stood around the house in an apparent vigil for two days, and then dispersed."
I remember reading about this. I had also watched the video of the two elephants reunited after 20 years, and if you can get through that without crying, you have no heart!
 
Top