THAT IS ONE BIG DOLPHIN!
It’s time to meet one of the oceans most iconic animals! These black and white predators are known around the world and today you are going to learn more about them along with us!
- Orcas live in oceans all around the world.
- They can grow up to 32 ft long and weigh up to 6 tons. That is the average weight of an adult male elephant!
- Orcas are carnivores. They eat fish, seals, squid and even other whales.
- They are listed as data deficient by the IUCN.
- Orcas are also known as killer whales.
- Scientists believe that orcas will eventually be split in to either subspecies or different species. There are orcas that stay in one location all year round (resident). There are orcas that live in smaller groups that travel where the food is abundant (transient). And there are orcas that hunt mainly very far from shore (offshore).
- These carnivores live in pods and often hunt together as a group.
- Orcas have earned the nickname wolves of the sea, because of their group hunting techniques.
- They can swim up to 33 mph!
- Orcas have up to a 4″ layer of blubber to help keep them warm in cold waters.
- Their teeth are 4″ long! Watch out for those chompers!
- Orcas, like other toothed dolphins and whales, use echolocation to detect prey.
- They are highly vocal. Pods are known to have their own unique language, dialect and culture. Scientists say the orcas’ dialects are very distinctive, like humans from the United Kingdom vs humans from Scotland.
- They have the 2nd heaviest brain of any marine mammal- our friend the sperm whale has the heaviest!
Orcas are super cool! They are highly social and intelligent! Cultures around the world have told myths and stories of the killer whales for centuries. The Kwakwaka’wakw people believed that orcas were the rulers of the seas and sea lions were their slaves! Wow!