Killer whale fact number one: Killer whales are the area of the dolphin family. They are largest relative from the sea mammal group. I do mean LARGE, on average killer whales or Orcas weigh an average 5400 pound and are up to 9.7 meters long.
Killer whale fact number two: These beautiful monsters of the sea are carnivores and take a lot of feeding. They are amongst the most successful predators in the marine world, which isn’t surprising as it requires a lot of monster to evade or defeat an enormous creature that’s about as heavy as two fully laden Lincoln Continentals as long an average single decker bus. They are the predators of the whale family and are successful hunters of sea mammals such as seals, sea lions, fish, squid, and seabirds and even other species of whales.
Killer whale fact number three: No lone killers, these intelligent creatures live in large family packs of up to about 40. Killer whale pods, as these groups are known could be likened to wolf packs within their searching techniques. A little known killer whale reality is that there are two very different kinds of pods which have different types of food preference and even hunt otherwise. ‘Resident’ pods hunt fish while the’passing’ pods search and kill marine mammals.
Killer whale fact number four: Orcas are long distance travelers and are common in colder coastal waters but killer whale pods are can be seen hunting around the world from the Poles to the Equator. They are easy to identify being beautifully marked in black and white and they move with extraordinary grace which belies their huge size. It’s another odd killer whale fact that these creatures have never been extensively hunted by humans unlike a few of their close relatives.
Killer whale fact number five: Killer whales have lives some living up to 80 decades. Killer whale cows only become pregnant every 3 to 10 years and have a very long 17-month pregnancy. Whale calves are cared for and reared in the protection of a family pod. Although it’s well known that members of the dolphin and whale family communicate through identifying sounds it is a little known killer whale fact that like human beings from various cultures, each Orca pod has its own individual language that its members could hear and distinguish even from great distances.
Killer whale fact number six: These ancient creatures are the subject of continuing research and have much to teach us. The killer whales ability to use echolocation to learn about the size and shape of underwater objects underwater and for communication has allowed its survival. Sometime just in the recent past has man found sonar to hunt submarines in war, to find underwater objects or to maximize our fishing catches. What other gifts will this giant of the seas need to share with us?