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Why are killer whales not aggressive to humans

  1. Jul 13, 2003 #1
    this thread is for dolphins and whales in general. i shall begin this by a question. why are killer whales(and dolphins in general) not aggressive to humans despite being as ferocious as a lion or a tiger?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 13, 2003 #2
    Humans aren't on the menu. And we're not as fattening as walruses and seals.

    Where as for lions and tigers., they're used to eating humans, baboons, or other tasty primates.
     
  4. Jul 14, 2003 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    Re: killer whale

    They are not usually aggressive towards humans. A few examples do exist to the contrary. One of which is that of Robin Williams. While filming Dolphins of the World – a TV special - he was in the water in some location in Africa I think. The dolphins there are famous for coming up to swimmers for a hello and some fish. One of them bit Williams pretty badly. For some reason it just didn’t like him. He expressed a whole new respect for the species...and a touch of fear.
     
  5. Jul 14, 2003 #4
    thank you ivan. perhaps it was in a bad mood! but the degree of friendliness and curiosity that wild dolphins in general show towards us is bizarre especially as some of the species were hunted in the past and because the general behavior of one species of animals towards another is that of aloofness or hostility.do you think dolphins would react in the same way on seeing a cow or goat in water as they do on seeing us?
     
  6. Jul 14, 2003 #5
    Re: Re: killer whale

    Yeah well honestly, how many of us here can say we would not bite Robin Williams if we saw him swimming in the water?

    eNtRopY
     
  7. Jul 14, 2003 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    Yes this was an aberration in the typical behavior. I really like your question. How would a dolphin react to its nearest living land relative, the cow? Really, I know you suspect that it would be different, but I wonder if anyone knows.
     
  8. Jul 14, 2003 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    Re: Re: Re: killer whale

    um...er...eh...why would that be? Are you getting a little light in your loafers...or would this be a vicious attack?
     
  9. Jul 15, 2003 #8

    Phobos

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    Agree. They don't recognize us as their regular food source. This goes for sharks too. Many shark "attacks" are simply curiosity nibbles (which cause havoc with our thin skin).

    However, note that we're closer to the food menu for orcas than dolphins (since orcas eat larger pray like seals). You'll notice at SeaWorld/etc. that the trainers wear red wetsuits...this is an extra visual cue for the whales that the trainers are not seals to be eaten(as compared to the standard black wetsuit which may cause confusion).
     
  10. Nov 22, 2003 #9
    Marine mammals have acute sonar sensing abilities.
    They may sense that we(humans) are able to think about our surroundings rather than responding automatically like other mammals.
    This could interest them on an intellectual level as they do to us.

    Sam
     
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