How Do Killer Whales (Orca) Sleep?

How do Killer Whales (Orca) Sleep? Unlike ourselves they are not able to fall into a deep sleep, unaware of their surroundings and leaving themselves vulnerable to drowning. Orca and many other cetaceans will shut down one half of their brain at a time to rest, while the other half is keeping them breathing regularly and an awareness of their surroundings. Today we were able to observe Orca sleeping and as the family grouped together their gentle breathing cycle at the surface was repeated for a while as everyone caught up on some rest. The opportunity to sleep does not always last long and soon it was back to foraging and keeping an eye on cheeky Maleko who was once again following B-Slice’s pod and shadowing their every move. Continuing to see that the males are keenly interested in this pod we will need to keep observing carefully which female is capturing their attention. El Notcho and his family were also hunting in the area and it was very special to have three large males of varying age and maturity (El Notcho, Maleko and B-Slice) travelling with their families through the canyon. Spending some time in shallow water was also interesting to observe today as we head towards the end of February and into a different time of the season as March approaches and sleeping Orca rest up for the next hunting season.

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