18 Interesting Killer Whale Facts

A killer whale is more commonly known as orca. Different interesting facts and information on this impressive mammal are available here for kids and adults. Have fun learning about these superb mammals!

Our info can be read below:

  1. you don’t have to fear a killer whale. This sea creature doesn’t attack or prey on people;
  2. its Latin name is Orcinus orca;
  3. killer whales belong to the dolphin family. In fact, an orca’s size makes it the largest member in this family. The killer whale is roughly the size of a school bus. It can reach 32 ft (that’s 9.7 m). The weight of an adult orca is 6 tons (5,443 kg);
  4. the color of this mammal’s body is a mix of white and black (for camouflage purposes.) The shape is rounded. The body also has a dorsal fin; the latter is on the animal’s back (at the middle). This fin is really long. Near the animal’s eyes is a white patch. The same can be observed on the orca’s underside;
  5. a group of killer whales is known as an orca pod. Such a group can have 40 individuals (pods with 100 members have been observed in the wild;)Killer-Whale
  6. an exact number of killer whales hasn’t been drafted. In fact the scientists believe there’s a population of approximately 50,000 orcas worldwide;
  7. a killer whale’s habitat extends to a lot of regions. Sea World believe orcas are the most widely distributed creatures, after us humans. They travel over long distances. When they don’t, their most favorite spots are these: seas and oceans that surround coastal countries. The Antarctic and the Arctic are both greatly enjoyed by orcas. They don’t have trouble living at a high latitude. Killer whales are known to adapt to a lot of different climate. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List say that orcas were observed off Canada’s and the United States’ west coast, too;
  8. an orca is fond of eating meat. An individual’s diet consists of marine mammals (including whales), sea birds, fish, sea turtles, and sharks. They also eat squid, dugongs, rays, seals, moose (according to the same Sea World source), and octopuses. Echolocation is what orcas use to find food. Orcas can also hunt as a group via very efficient teamwork. Or they can simply come to the surface and grab a seal off its ice; they will also frighten penguins till the latter fall into the water. An individual killer whale is able to consume some 220 pounds (100 kg) of food;
  9. the feeding process relays on the orca’s very sharp teeth. In fact the animal doesn’t chew with them. Instead, it tears or rips its food. These teeth are able to reach a length of 4 inches (10 cm). They have the shape of cones; 40-56 interlocking teeth can be noticed in a killer whale’s mouth;
  10. a female killer whale has a gestation period of up to 17 months. Autumn is the month when orcas give birth to calves, the term used for their offspring. A calf is brought to life every 3-10 years. Killer whales don’t have more than 1 offspring. When the baby orca is born, it weighs 265-353 lbs. (120-160 kg). The size of a calf is 8.5 feet (2.6 m). They feed on milk. The calf will go its own way after 1-2 years of relying on its mom. The offspring is taken care of in the pod. And it’s not only the mother which looks after its calf; young female orcas give it a helping hand, also;
  11. the killer whale doesn’t live isolated. Because it’s a social sea creature, it loves to communicate with others. Another interesting fact is that their society is matriarchal, which means that a female is the one to lead a pod. Social hierarchies are also created between killer whales. Each group of orcas contains its own dialect (which is made of various sounds). This is how a pod’s members recognize one another, even when there’s a large distance between them;Killer-Whale-eating-penguin
  12. the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say that some killer whale populations are protected. It is unclear whether orcas are endangered or not. Fact is, they’re not threatened with extinction;
  13. in the wild, an orca lives up to 80 years;
  14. its level of intelligence is very high;
  15. Spanish whale hunters in the 1700s were the ones to give the orca the name it’s commonly known as. The actual wording back then was “killer of whales;”
  16. 35 miles per hour (that is, 56 kph) is the speed an orca swims at;
  17. because they hunt in pods, they’re called wolves of the seas;
  18. as we write this, many worldwide marine parks hold 57 killer whales in captivity.

Want to leave a comment on these facts about killer whales? Feel free to do so in the section underneath.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. More Info | Close