Other names: Orca
Latin name: Orcinus orca
size: 6 - 9m
mass: 3 - 6t (3000 - 6000kg)
Older: 30 - 50 years
Appearance: black top, white belly bottom
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Carnivore
food: Fish, seal, octopus and seabirds
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: Sea, ocean
natural enemies: no
sexual maturity: between the age of eight and sixteen
mating season: possible all year round
gestation: 14 - 18 months
litter size: 1 cub
social behavior: group building
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the killer whale
- The orca or Orcinus orca describes a species within the Delphinidae, which is also known under the name Orca and killer whale.
- Killer whales are found in all seas, but mainly colonize the northern Pacific, the northeastern Atlantic and the waters around the two polar caps.
- Among the killer whales there are local animals that live near the coast as well as those that travel long distances.
- The killer whale is an excellent swimmer that can travel at speeds up to 55 kilometers per hour.
- This toothed whale is considered the largest representative of the dolphins and can reach total body lengths of seven to eight, rarely even nine meters and bring a weight of over six tons on the scales. The males are slightly larger than the females.
- The fluke marked, clearly bifurcated and curved on the inside caudal fin is about two and a half feet wide.
- The triangular pointed dorsal fin, which can be up to two meters long, owes its name to the killer whale.
- Killer whales are unmistakable due to their distinctive coloring. The entire back area is black, in stark contrast to the white spots behind the eyes and on the chest and stomach.
- Even the light gray spot behind the fin is a clear identifying feature.
- In the short and flattened snout are a maximum of 56 large teeth of conical shape.
- Killer whales are predatory hunters, which mainly capture sea birds, manatees, seals, fish, cephalopods and small whales.
- They join together in groups of up to fifty animals, the so-called whale schools. Within these associations, the animals communicate through their own language.
- Especially during the hunt, the members of a whaling school talk to each other. In the group, killer whales have sophisticated hunting strategies that allow them to capture many animals at once.
- In the course of hunting, killer whales often reach the beaches, but they must be careful not to get stuck in the sand of the shallow waters.
- Female killer whales produce only one calf every few years from the age of twelve.
- This is born after a gestation period of probably twelve to seventeen months and measures already two meters.
- The average life expectancy is about fifty years, but killer whales can rarely get older.