How orca hunt
05 December 2022
Although orcas can be found in all of Earth’s oceans, the different populations vary considerably in behaviour, diet, dialect and appearnace. In fact, there are at least 10 recognized ecotypes istributed across southern and northern hemispheres.
According to the UK organization Whale and Dolphin Conservation, the fjords of Arctic Norway attract the North Atlantic Type 1 ecotype, a unique population of whales who have mastered the “carousel” feeding technique. Having followed the numerous (and plump) herring to their overwintering spots around the Norwegian coast, they use carefully choreographed manoeuvres - passed down from mother to daughter in matriarchal family pods - to separate and corral shoals of herring, stunning them 15 at a time with explosive underwater tail slaps, so they can casually nibble on them one-by-one.
This is a sneak peak of my early attempts at modelling and animating this unique and impressive hunting approach.
I’ll give more of a run down of the process of generating the herring in a future post.
This one’s for you Orca and herring lovers out there.