Killer Whale or orca(Orcinus orca) or Blackfish is a large toothed whale that is easily recognized globally due to its large size and distinct black color on the top and white color undersides with white patches near their eyes.
Behind the dorsal fin, they have gray or white saddle patches which vary between individuals. Adult male whales have larger pectoral flippers, dorsal fins, and tail flukes than females. Also, male whales’ girts are larger than females.
They are the largest member of the dolphin family and are among the most widely distributed mammals and are found in every ocean in the world. Their body shape is roughly cylindrical with tapering on both sides. The fusiform shape provides energy for swimming on the water smoothly as it creates less drag.
So How Much Do Killer Whales Weigh?
As male killer whales are larger than females they weigh higher although this varies in size and weight depending on their types. On average male killer whales weigh around 8000 pounds to 12000 pounds or 3628 kg to 5443 kg.
Although there have been instances where males weighed 22000 pounds or 9979 kg. Female killer whales weigh an average of 3000 pounds to 8000 pounds or 1360 kg to 3628 kg.
How Much Does A Baby Killer Whale Weigh?
Newly born baby killer whales are larger too. On average a newly born baby killer whale weighs around 300 pounds to 400 pounds or 136 kg to 181 kg.
What Do Killer Whales Eat?
Killer whales are the apex predators and are at the top of the marine food chain and no one except humans hunts them. They feed different types of fish which include salmon, herring, cod, hake and other small aquatic species.
Sometimes they eat squid and octopus too. However, sometimes they live near land and attack and eat different mammals which include seals, sea lions, penguins, sea birds, sea otters, walruses etc.
How Much Does A Killer Whale Eat?
Adult killer whales eat 1 to 3.5% amount of food of their body weight per day depending on their age, diet etc. And growing baby killer whales eat more which is up to 10% of their body weight.
On average an adult killer whale needs 150 pounds to 300 pounds or 68 kg to 136 kg of food per day in captivity. Although wild killer whales may eat up to 375 pounds or 170 kg of food per day. However, some of them eat more and Which can be up to 500 pounds or 227 kg of food per day.
Where Do Killer Whales Live?
Killer whales live in every ocean in the world which includes warm waters and icy waters of the North and South pole region. However, they are most abundant in cold water like Antarctica, Norway and Alaska. While most well-studied killer whales populations live in the eastern north pacific ocean.
How Long Do Killer Whales Live?
Male killer whales have a shorter life span than females. On average male killer whales, life span is 30 years to a maximum of 60 years. And female killer whale’s average life span is 50 years to up to 90 years in captivity.
Life In The Pod(Killer Whales Behavior)?
Killer whales are social animals and live in social groups that are known as pods. However individual whales that live in their natal pods consist of a few or 20 or more whales. A larger pod may include up to four generations which are children, parents, grandparents for a single-family.
While sometimes larger groups form temporary social interactions matings and seasonal prey. They rely on underwater sound for eating, communicating, and navigating. Each pod members communicate with each other via clicks, whistles, pulsed calls etc.
Reproduction System(How Do Killer Whales Reproduce)
Female killer whales reach sexual maturity when they reach 10 to 13 years old. Typically a female killer whale stays pregnant for 15 to 18 months and gives birth to a single baby.
Both killer whales work together to take care of the youngers and other females in the pod also help every so often with the rearing. Baby whales stay close with their mothers for the first two hours.
There is no specific season for calving so birth can take place any month. Killer whales birth rate is not well understood although some population’s birth rate is 5 years intervals for an average period of 25 years.
How Much Long A Killer Whales Can Get?
Killer whale’s length varies depending on their ecotypes. On average a male Icelandic killer whale (North Atlantic type 1) can be 5.8 m to 6.7 m or 19 feet to 22 feet long and females can be 4.9m to 5.8 m or 16 feet to 19 feet long.
A male Antarctic type A killer whale can reach up to 9.2m or 30 feet in length. While a male Antarctic type C killer whale can reach up to 5.6 m to 6.1 m or 18 feet to 20 feet in length and females can be up to 5.2m or 17 on average. The largest recorded male killer whale length was 9.8 m or 32 feet and the female was 8.5m or 28 feet.
How Fast Can A Killer Whale Swim?
The killer whale or orca is the second-fastest marine mammal and can swim around 34.8 mph or 56 km/h. However, they cruise at a slower speed which is on average 8 mph or 12 kph. And they can cruiser slowly for longer periods of time. When swimming on the surface a killer whale stays below water for 30 seconds or less.
Are Killer Whales Endangered?
The killer whales are not endangered yet and are currently listed as “Data Deficient” by the IUCN meaning unknown conservation status. IUCN stated that as a single species they are abundant and widely distributed.
However today killer whales face many other threats along with human hunting which include limitation of foods, chemical containments, oil spills, disturbance from large vessels sound and traffics, etc.
Do Killer Whales Eat Humans?
Killer whales are very social animals just like humans and they eat other mammals. But there are no such cases where killer whales eat humans. However, in some rare cases they have attacked humans because of misunderstanding and by mistakes think of the human as another sea creature.
Do Killer Whales Have Predators?
Killer whales are apex predators and they have no predators except humans. As they are the largest and most powerful marine animals in the ocean there are no other predators who can challenge them.
How Many Killer Whales Are There?
Killer whales are found all around the world and there are around 50000 killer whales globally. Among them, around 2500 killer whales live in the eastern North pacific ocean.
However, in captivity, there are around 59 killer whales available in several sea parks, aquariums around the world.
How Do Killer Whales Sleep?
Killer whales swim slowly close to their other closet pod members when resting and sleeping. So they sleep in the pod and this can last for hours which can be around 1 to 6 hours through the day and night. Most of their sleeping style is vertical.
>>Killer whales are dolphins but the name killer whales are given by the ancient sailor’s observations of groups of orcas hunting and preying on larger whale species.
>>Killer whales have no sense of smell.
>>They have the second-largest brains among marine mammals which weigh around 15 pounds or 6.80kg!
>>There are three to eleven different types of killer whales available.
>>All killer whales have excellent eyesight and hearing capability under and above the water.
>>Killer whales communicate with others through underwater sounds.