"Orcas: Facts About Killer Whales." At birth, the calf will remain with its mother for two years before separating and becoming independent. Some species of killer whales include seals and dolphins in their diets other than fish. Their groups are female dominant, and they show assertiveness by slapping their tails, head-butting, and even biting. As social creatures, orcas value sharing their hunt and females will share all the fish they catch with their offspring. Bradford, Alina. Killer whales, also called orcas, hunt everything from fish to walruses – seals, sea lions, penguins, squid, sea turtles, sharks and even other kinds of whales are all on their menu. His infamous reputation began in 2010 when the killer whale had pulled a SeaWorld trainer into his pool and killed her. I can't believe the size of a school bus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Killer Whales eat sharks. The heaviest weight ever recorded for a killer whale is 10,000 kilograms. If they're after penguins, sea lions, or other animals on the surface, the killer whales will slap their tails on the water, creating a large wave that sends their prey off ice floes and within reach. Killer whales have excellent eyesight and hearing both under and above the water. Researchers state that of all the orca species previously discovered, Type D is the one that greatly differs from others the most. All things considered, it might be too late before an unsuspecting fish sees an orca on the approach. They are exceptionally protective of their offspring, and often adolescent females are recruited to assist in caring for calves. Orcas were named killer whales by ancient sailors, who observed pods of the mammal hunting down prey and taking out larger whales at sea. One eye also remains open on the side of whichever brain is currently active. These records may indicate they live as short as 35 years. By NOAA Photo Library (anim1110) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) or Public. In fact, they are the biggest. However, instead of chewing their food, they often just swallow them whole. For some, killer whale tattoos also symbolize protection and are said to protect those who travel away from home. They also eat fish, squid, and seabirds. These males are more likely to starve when times are tough. These giant predators typically hunt bigger fishes and other mammals such as seals and penguins. Also known as killer whales, orcas have a distinctive appearance of large black body with white underside along with white patches above and behind their eye. These groups are called pods. Although toothed whales have teeth, they don't chew their food—they use their teeth for capturing and tearing food. Scientists have stated that male killer whales will generally live for 30 years. As of 2016, the minimum worldwide population of killer whales is believed to be 50,000. Read also: 50 Chimpanzee Facts About The Great Ape. These massive creatures have been seen eating leopard sharks, great white sharks, and moose that swim between islands. 12 Woeful (and Wonderful) Facts about Wednesday, Orcas are technically dolphins. background-repeat: no-repeat; Required fields are marked Other studies have shown that killer whales will occasionally travel to waters with richer food sources as the seasons’ change. While the viewing of captive orcas has likely inspired thousands of budding marine biologists and helped scientists learn more about the species, it is a controversial practice due to the potential effects on the whales' health and ability to socialize naturally. Typically, killer whales will mate within their pods and continue to do so as long as they travel together. Orcas tend to choose what they eat depending on the general feeling of their family, or pod. Your email address will not be published. Keiko was sold to Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada in 1982 where he performed for the public and developed skin lesions. 100 Snake Facts That Will Swallow You Whole. 7. In 2018, scientists stated in a study that half of the world’s killer whale population could disappear if this pollution continues. As researchers learn more about orcas, they have proposed separating the whales into different species or subspecies based on genetics, diet, size, vocalizations, location and physical appearance. Killer whales, just like their dolphin cousins, communicate through underwater sounds with one another. They do not prey on humans. 4. This can cause a tendency for them to die young. They also communicate with one another, which helps them be more effective hunters. National Geographic. Some also consider the killer whale as a symbol of strength and elegance. In the game, the killer whale is described to have a level 3 challenge rating. A baby is born at 8.5 feet long and nearly 300 pounds. However, observations find that their white spots may provide other killer whales to better recognize other killer whales in murky waters. 2. Accessed September 12, 2018. https://www.livescience.com/27431-orcas-killer-whales.html. The largest female orca was only 28 feet and 7,500 pounds, still quite large for an orca. The killer whale can weigh up to six tons. LiveScience. Orcas are apex predators and lack any … Orcas, or killer whales, are the largest of the dolphins and one of the world's most powerful predators.