Orca Facts

Killer Whale, Orca, Breaching, Ocean

Killer whale fact number one: Killer whales are the area of the dolphin family. They are largest relative in the sea mammal group. I do mean LARGE, on average killer whales or Orcas weigh an average 5400 kg and are around 9.7 meters long.

Killer whale reality two: These beautiful monsters of the ocean are carnivores and take a lot of feeding. They are amongst the most successful predators in the marine world, which isn’t surprising as it requires a good deal of monster to evade or defeat a huge creature that is about as thick as two fully laden Lincoln Continentals as long an average single decker bus.

Killer whale reality three: No lone killers, these intelligent creatures live in large family packs of up to approximately 40. Killer whale pods, since these groups are known could be likened to wolf packs within their searching methods. A little known killer whale fact is that there are two very different kinds of pods which have different kinds of food preference and even hunt otherwise. ‘Resident’ pods hunt fish while the’passing’ pods search and kill marine mammals.

They are easy to identify being beautifully marked in black and white and they move with extraordinary elegance that belies their massive size. It is another strange killer whale fact that these creatures have never been hunted by humans unlike some of their near relatives.

Killer whale fact number five: Killer whales have long lives some living up to 80 years. Killer whale cows just become pregnant every 3 to 10 years and have a long 17-month pregnancy. Whale calves are cared for and reared at the security of a family pod. Even though it’s well known that members of the dolphin and whale family communicate through identifying sounds it is a little known killer whale fact that like human beings from various cultures, each Orca pod has its own individual language that its members can hear and differentiate even from great distances.

Killer whale fact number six: All these ancient creatures are the subject of continuing research and have much to teach us. The killer whales ability to use echolocation to learn about the size and shape of submerged objects underwater and for communication has allowed its survival. Whereas only in the recent past has man found sonar to hunt submarines in war, to discover underwater objects or to increase our fishing catches. What other gifts will this giant of the seas need to talk with us?

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