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

UPDATED: Eco warriors shut down Douglas Street at Fort Street in protest

Environmentalists to call on banks to divert investments into green infrastructure

WATCH: Soon-to-be guide dogs take part in the Amazing Puppy Race

10 puppies training to be guide dogs took part in a social Easter egg hunt

Ancient microbes discovered off the Juan de Fuca Ridge potentially offers glimpse into alien life

The marine bacteria is dependent on hydrogen, a compound present almost everywhere

Sign forbidding rabbit drop-offs gets stuffed bunnies instead

Residents seemingly undeterred by strict wording this Easter

Islander finding her calling in fledgling community paramedic program

Georgia Nelson’s work in Chemainus part of a new wave of small community health care delivery

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

Second earthquake in less than two hours strikes off Vancouver Island

The first earthquake happened at 1:27 p.m., the second at 2:44 p.m.

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Man’s body found in popular Cowichan Valley hiking area

Police say death not suspicious after discovery in Stoney Hill area overlooking Saltspring Island

Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Mandatory spaying and neutering looms for outdoor Chemainus cats

North Cowichan considers bylaw to control stray and feral cat issues

Stranded photographer rescued from rising Comox Valley waters

Responders use kayak to save man, equipment

Electronic music repels mosquitoes

New study finds Skrillex music slows mosquito’s feeding and sex

Most Read