Pictures: Icelandic orcas spotted in sea off Scotland
Orcas from Iceland have been spotted along the east coast of the UK.
A group of orcas, or killer whales as they are also known, have travelled all the way from Iceland to give us a glimpse of their famous black backs and white bellies.
Although the whales can be seen near Scotland every year, this is thought to be the most southern point orcas from Iceland have been spotted along the east coast of the UK.
The animals are most famously seen from the shores of North America, South America, Norway and New Zealand. They like to eat fish and other marine animals. Like cows, baby orcas are called calves. One calf was seen swimming alongside the adults around the waters of Moray Firth.
The whales have dorsal fins which can measure up to 1.8m in length – that’s about the average height of a fully grown man! Male orcas can grow to about seven metres in length while females are slightly smaller, growing to around six metres.
Experts monitor the orcas unique dorsal fin shapes as well as the shape of the white markings on their sides. This monitoring lets them know which orcas like to visit each year. To get these beautiful pictures, the crew were careful to respect the whales so they didn’t scare them away.