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All posts for the day October 6th, 2015

How Orcas Work Together to Whip Up a Meal, by Virginia Morrell, photographs by Paul Nicklen

That’s an uncomfortably wordy title, but I guess it’s descriptive. How Orcas Work Together to Whip Up a Meal is the final installment of the three-part Understanding Dolphins series, because orcas are dolphins — the largest of the dolphins, in fact.

The meaning of the title is that orcas do what is called “carousel feeding.” They surround schools of herring and swim in ever-tighter circles around the herring. Then, once they have the herring trapped, they smack them with their tails. This stuns or kills the herring, making them easy to eat. They use other tactics, of course, but carousel feeding is one of the most fascinating.

While researching the story, Morrell saw whales hunting with the orcas. This was surprising because whales are also prey of orcas (the name “killer whale” is actually a mistranslation of the Spanish name, asesina de ballinas, or “whale killer.” Yet the whales were out there with the orcas, unmolested. The orca specialist that Morrell was talking to, Tiu Similä, decided later that the whales were freeloaders. However, there were enough fish for all, so the orcas allowed them to hang around.

In the Footsteps of Gandhi, by Tom O’Neill, photographs by Rena Effendi

In the Footsteps of Gandhi is about Gandhi’s literal footsteps. As part of India’s path to independence from the United Kingdom, Gandhi and thousands of other Indians walked from to the coast of the Arabian Sea. The British forbade the people of India to harvest their own salt from the sea, instead requiring them to buy the mineral from the British. In protest, Gandhi walked to the sea, intending to harvest salt from the salt flats, but the British had ground the salt into the beach. Gandhi was able to find one crystal of salt on the beach and picked it up, breaking the law. Gandhi and tens of thousands of his followers were arrested.

O’Neill decided to walk the same path, from Ahmedabad to the Arabian Sea. Through this article, we see the places he visits and talk to the people he meets, looking for traces of Gandhi.