Killer Whale Dorsal Fin

The Killer Whale dorsal fin is an impressive feature of these apex predators but did you know that there is no bone holding up the Orca dorsal fin? Today we met Lucy and her family pod along with Kidji and her family pod as they travelled and socialised. It was interesting to watch the two big males Blade and Giovanni spend a morning hanging out together. Socialising and interacting with others is just as important to Orca as it is for humans and today these two males enjoyed spending time playing and travelling together as their mums and the rest of their families continued to forage. Blade and Giovanni will have grown up from young calves spending time together this way and have built a friendship that will last a lifetime. It is during these interactions that we see very clearly the community aspect of the Bremer Bay Orca population and how each family pod take care of and look out for each other. The boys continued to cruise along, side by side while Razor, Eddie and the rest of the family zoomed past with much enthusiasm.

The dorsal fin of an Orca contains no bone but instead stands tall thanks to dense connective tissue. The skin surrounding that dense tissue is very thin which means as an Orca surfaces this is a perfect area for them to rid themselves of excess body heat and regulate their core temperature.  The larger dorsal fin of the males not only helps them to cool down being larger than the females but it also helps to stabilise their enormous bodies as they power through southern ocean conditions with ease. It is always an impressive sight to see two mature male Orca swimming next to each other and displaying the handsome appearance of these apex predators. Orca calf Eddie gave us a big open eyed look today and it won’t be much longer before he also starts to grow and his now curved dorsal fin will sprout and develop in his early teenage years. Pearl the Australian Sea Lion looked sleepy and relaxed as we said hello, perhaps all those Crested Tern chicks are making a bit too much noise for her to get some good rest!

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