Orcas generally congregate in much smaller groups, so this massive pod of orcas naturally caused some concerns.
So why are they all gathering together?
The first hypothesis was that they were part of a vast extended family. Researchers listened to the orcas’ cries to each other to see if this was true.
Orcas from the same family frequently talk in the same dialect. However, after a brief listen, it became evident that there were many different dialects, implying that they are all from separate families.
So, rather than one large pod, this is a collection of numerous pods converging in this location, which is rare for orca behaviour.
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Could they have met with the intention of mating?
Orcas keep their breeding techniques a closely guarded secret. However, we know they like to mate in warmer waters and the spring. Therefore this video was shot in the winter, which seems to be the wrong season for romance.
What about the possibility of a feeding frenzy?
There are a lot of birds circling overhead in the video, which could imply that there is a lot of food down below. The fish, which is a favourite of orcas in this part of Norway, is most likely herring. However, there is no tail slapping in the video, so it does not appear they are herding them.
Instead, you can see fishing boats off in the distance, and they frequently breach the nets and take fish for themselves. These sophisticated creatures have heard the sound of fishing boats and have banded together because they know there will be food here.