I think its just the fact tht weve got many many more scientists and cameras out there just filming away. Sooner or later we find anything. I really have no information to verify that Humpbacks are changing their habits and becoming more territorial, maybe were just seeing them more as their ranges change due to greater numbers. Also, Orcas ranges have expanded (thats a fact) so much that we have several large societal pod clusters in the North Atlantic and even the Bay of Fundy. That was a really rare sight 50 years ago
Look at the giant squid, it used to be thing of legend, now, we hqve sitings from deep submersibles yearly.
Like Ehrlich used to say about interacting with subjects. We become one with them.
It may very well be that the whales have been exhibiting this behavior for all of the time they've been around and it may be that is only something that has recently developed.
My point from the start was that I need to see a lot more evidence before I'm going to credit the behavior as altruistic. Doing so, it seems to me, is another example of humans wanting to see in animals what they think they see in themselves.
I think an equally good or better argument can be made that they are trying to make the areas in which they gather unattractive as hunting grounds to the predatory Orcas. Nothing altruistic about that.
I find whales fascinating and tend to believe they have a very high level of intelligence that is quite different from what we have. I'm not ready to write a thesis on this belief, just my opinion based on what I've read.
At the same time Orcas have a very high level of intelligence as well. The different ways they manage to capture prey animals; working in concert, is indicative of this. Anyone who has seen them work together to knock a seal off of an ice flow by creating waves would, I think, agree. So advanced intelligence and bloody killing are not at all mutually exclusive.
However, for a fairly large segment of the population that is always rooting for the rabbit to escape the fox, the zebra to elude the lion, their sympathies for Orcas end at the exit of Sea World.
I was too hard on roberta but the fact that she could interpret some Orca behavior as torture is indicative of the way many humans view animals.
Big sharks are being wiped out of the ocean for doing what they have done for millions of years and without a trace of malice, because humans see them as monsters.
Like it or not, killing is absolutely natural. And the whales so many want to imbue with lofty virtues live by killing far more organisms every day than do Orcas.
The very big difference between animals and humans is that the former far less frequently kills members of their own species than the latter.
I suppose that in some far off future we will be able to survive without killing, but it ain't going to happen any time soon.