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The Killer Whales of Eden

Fascinating entry on Wikipedia about the killer whales of Eden, known for co-operating with whalers to kill whales of other species, especially baleen whales.

They were seen near the port of Eden in southeastern Australia between 1840 and 1930. A pod of killer whales, which included amongst its members a distinctive male called Old Tom, would assist whalers in hunting baleen whales.

Old Tom’s role was commonly to alert the human whalers to the presence of a baleen whale in the bay by breaching or tailslapping at the mouth of the Kiah River, where the Davidson family had their tiny cottages. This role endeared him to the whalers and led to the idea that he was "leader of the pack," although such a role was more likely taken by a female (as is typical among killer whales). After the harpooning, some of the killer whales would even grab the ropes in their teeth and aid the whalers in hauling.

The whalers rewarded the pod by allowing them to eat the tongue and lips of the harpooned whales before hauling their bounty ashore.

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