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On the Wild Side: Strange news from the World of Wildlife!

Frisbee for Orcas

Extreme sports are hot . . . and not just with kids but with animals, too. Take those Killer Whales off the coast of New Zealand that toss venomous stingrays back and forth with their teeth. As reported in the New Scientist, a whale will first dive down and pluck a ray off the ocean floor. When the whale resurfaces, the ray is still alive, flapping in the whale's mouth. What happens next can best be described as a marine version of Frisbee: one whale tosses the ray to a second, which then either tosses the ray back or forwards it to a third.

Researchers believe the action is an attempt to position the ray so that it can be eaten safely. Another possibility is that tossing stingrays is one way adult Killer Whales teach their offspring to catch dangerous prey.

Click here to learn more about Killer Whales.

 

 

 

 

 

2007 eNature.com