Scientists are baffled by what they saw from the Iberian Peninsula. On several occasions – three to be exact – killer whales have succeeded in sinking boats in what appear to be coordinated attacks. But this is not enough. In all, it was about hundreds of attacks, although most of the boats managed to avoid taking significant damage. Research on the attacks has been published in the scientific publication Marine Mammal Sciences.
– There were two smaller whales and one larger killer whale. The little ones got to the helm there while the little one repeatedly rammed the boat with full force from the side, Werner Scheffelberger, whose yacht was attacked off Gibraltar on May 4, told the magazine. Yacht.
He also tells us that the two smaller killer whales noticed the larger whale – and then mimicked the behavior.
– With a little effort they threw themselves into the boat.
The attacks have been reported since 2020 and researchers believe they are due to a woman’s traumatic experience with a boat; “A critical moment of agony”, causing her to begin attacking the boats. Then others must follow the behavior.
– We do not think that they teach it to young people, but the behavior spread to young people through imitation and then between them, because they believe that it is something important in their lives, says Alfredo Lopez Fernandez, one of the researchers, to live science.
There are only 39 recorded killer whales in the area and scientists are concerned about what might happen if the behavior continues.
– It is a matter of concern for the safety of mariners and for the protection of the endangered Iberian killer whale.
Killer whales are found on the West Coast
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