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

West Shore fundraiser serves up hope for kids with food allergies

Proceeds assist Oral Immunotherapy Research Program at BC Children’s Hospital

Local tongue-in-cheek opportunists flog snow huts

‘Executive’ and ‘eco-friendly’ one-bedrooms pop up on Craigslist and Used Victoria

Province urges backcountry adventurers to stay safe this weekend

Search and rescue responded to 28 incidents last Family Day weekend

Snow storms prompt reminders to prepare for emergencies

Province reminds public of essential supplies

Sidewalk Trio reuniting at The Oaks

The next Blues for Eric scholarship benefit concert is Feb. 23

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read