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Orca Leadership Has Mom in Charge

These apex predators are led by the most fierce and protective members of their pods, their mothers. The orca leadership is intelligent, empathetic, and deadly.
In our recent expedition to northern Norway we swam with Orca and watched the Orca with their offspring as they hunt herring as a group.

These apex predators are led by the most fierce and protective members of their pods, their mothers. The orca leadership is intelligent, empathetic, and deadly.

Did you know that Orca leadership is structured by a matriarchy where the mothers are in charge of the whole pod? Orca are extremely intelligent and social sea creatures. However they rely on their mother’s experience and knowledge to use teamwork to travel, hunt, and play.

Experience is the best teacher.

Transient orca and even resident orca travel thousands of kilometres a year in search for food. They navigate through confusing inlets and negotiate complex ocean terrain. Their ability to hunt though, is even more complex than their ability to travel.

Mothers direct their pods. Gathering and organizing millions of herring and creating a “herring ball”. Orchestrating the pod to work together and collect as much food as possible. Eventually they hunt together using teamwork to keep the herring ball intact as they feast.

Swimming with Orcas in Norway, First-hand Account.

Orca swimming in group.

Moms give the greatest direction.

The orca leadership’s hierarchy has the mother right at the top. The mother Orca has the most wisdom, and knowledge to share with the young in her pod. She teaches her skills and passes along her knowledge. Her oldest female offspring will eventually take over the orca leadership of the pod.

Orca are the apex predator of land and sea. Hunting whales, sharks and even polar bears. That makes them the most fierce mammal on the planet. However, they’re also considered to be among the most empathetic, social, and emotionally complex mammals as well. Perhaps our societies could learn a thing or two from the Orca.

Orca aren’t the only matriarchal animal societies. Lions, bonobos, elephants, and even ants and bees are led by their mothers. All of which are considered some of the most intelligent animal societies. Perhaps theirs a direct correlation between smart and strong moms, and successful leadership and societies.

Happy Mothers day!

Reference https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/03/150305-killer-whale-menopause-ocean-animals-science/

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