False killer whale pod sighting at Summerland Beach

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By an edhat reader

On Friday I observed what I thought was a very unusual dolphin pod hunting what appeared to be large fish.  The pod  looked like dolphins but were so large, so dark, and incredibly fast they caught my attention and I watched for over an hour.    Due to their extraordinary size and speed and dark color they were not the dolphins we usually see on our coastline.  I don't know how long this pod has been in this area but this is definitely what I saw:

https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/false-killer-whale

And apparently they are very rare - endangered even,.  They were team hunting, they were repeatedly jumping fully out of the water and diving in, some racing ahead of the prey and turning it back to the others. There were many. They even seemed to occasionally throw a very large fish out of the water and chase it down.  

I regret I did not have a camera with me.  Other people were at the beach watching as well.  Maybe someone else got some photos.  Or maybe the pod has been  there for awhile and it is not a rare sighting.  I hope someone with more knowledge can weigh in on this. 

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Minibeast Sep 06, 2021 08:32 AM
False killer whale pod sighting at Summerland Beach

False Killer whales. I had no idea they existed. Thank you for educating me and how lucky were you to see these fine creatures? Here's a few facts that amazed me even further. 63 years? --------- WEIGHT
Up to around 3,000 pounds---------
LIFESPAN
Up to 63 years (females); Up to 58 years (males)----------
LENGTH
Up to 16 feet (females); Up to 20 feet (males)

a-1630878510 Sep 05, 2021 02:48 PM
False killer whale pod sighting at Summerland Beach

I was once on a Navy destroyer offshore while they did an underway replenishment, during which it was steaming in parallel with an oiler, with about 30 feet separating the ships. A standing wave formed between them from the interaction of the ships' bow waves, and a couple of false killer whales showed up to play in the wave.

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