Introduction to Killer Whales
Killer Whales, also known as Orcas, rule the sea. The only dangers they face are humans, as there is no other creature in the sea that could possibly be a threat to them.
Killer Whales are top predators capable of attack even other species of whales and several other sea mammals
like seals or sea lions. Still, they are considered one of the most magnificent animals in the world.
Killer whales live grouped in small pods which operate with a sophisticated social structure. These pods are
formed by groups from 6 to 40 killer whales and they stay together during their whole life.
The breeding season for killer whales range from winter to early spring and it is usually performed in warm waters. Calves are born between October and March after a gestation period of 16-17 months.
Calves are born typically weighing 400 pounds and measuring from 6 to 8 feet long and they are able to swim beside their mother within thirty minutes of being born. In most cases, each female only gives birth to one calf.
After birth, calves are nursed by their mothers and midwives for up to 12 months and sometimes even longer until they are able to take care of themselves.
Killer whale Feeding
Killer whales usually survive on a diet of fish, squid, sharks, whales, seals, sea turtles, octopus, penguins, and sea gulls.
They have powerful teeth which typically are about 3 inches long, and 1 inch in diameter.
A common killer whale usually eats 550 pounds of food each day at least and they can travel hundreds of miles in order to catch seasonal prey.
Killer Whale Communication
Killer whales make a variety of sounds which include clicks, whistles, and even scream. These sounds are used to communicate with each other when hunting and mating. Each pod even has its own characteristic sounds, which help members to recognize each other.
Killer Whale Habitat
Killer Whales are found in every ocean in the world as they can be found in tropical waters, as well as arctic waters. They can be found near coastal waters, as well as deep waters.
Header image courtesy of NOAA.