Orca - Killer Whale


killer orca whale teeth

A large killer whale showing its no nonsense teeth

The orca, or to use its more common name, the "killer whale", also known as the "sea wolf", is a mammal like all whales are. This means that they have warm blood, breathe air for their oxygen and suckle their calves with milk.

Is the Orca a Whale?

Despite the name, the killer whale is not really a whale. Technically, they are the largest species in the dolphin family. Whales and dolphins are both grouped in the cetacea order of mammals and are close relatives. Just like dolphins, they are intelligent enough to learn from humans. In captivity they can be seen performing tricks in pool displays, entertaining spectators.

In the wild, the killer whale lives in family groups called pods where they constantly communicate with each other. They have a complex language made up of many different noises: squeaking, whistling, creaking and moaning. Different pods from different areas even have slightly different dialects, much like humans.

Diet

Apparently killer whales will eat absolutely anything. Some of the animals which have been found in the stomachs of orcas during research are: sharks, penguins, otters, turtles, a moose!, reptiles, sea lions, birds, walruses, other whales and dolphins, and a polar bear! As well as all the usual stuff like fish, squid, and seals. Even the remains of other orcas have been found in the stomachs of some orcas.

Hunting

When hunting, the infamous "sea wolves" will surround their prey like a packs of wolves, harassing it until it succumbs. This is only necessary when the prey is larger than they are, like other whales or great white sharks. They can bite off large chunks of flesh and blubber of their prey, eating it while it is still alive.

They don't even bother biting into penguins, seals and anything smaller, they just swallow them whole. It is very easy to see why these great predators of the oceans have been named the "killer whale".

 


 

Orca Attacking Seal

 

Orca makes friends with dog

 

 

 

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