“G, good day… … how do you do? (So embarrassing!). I really like playing with the sea kids! Sometimes I prank them too though… ehehe. I did that because I’ve become friends. I want to try various things! Also I’m really interested in food. I only eat what I like but… that’s not because I’m selfish”
—Killer Whale's introduction
Killer Whale is a type of Cetacean Friend.
In Real Life
A typical orca distinctively bears a black back, white chest and sides, and a white patch above and behind the eye. Calves are born with a yellowish or orange tint, which fades to white. It has a heavy and robust body with a large dorsal fin up to 1.8 m tall. Behind the fin, it has a dark grey "saddle patch" across the back. Antarctic orcas may have pale gray to nearly white backs. Adult orcas are very distinctive, seldom confused with any other sea creature. Males typically range from 6 to 8 metres long and weigh in excess of 6 tonnes. Females are smaller, generally ranging from 5 to 7 m and weighing about 3 to 4 tonnes. The orca's large size and strength make it among the fastest marine mammals, able to reach speeds in excess of 56 km/h. Their pectoral fins, analogous to forelimbs, are large and rounded, resembling paddles, with those of males significantly larger than those of females. Males and females have different patterns of black and white skin in their genital areas.
Orcas have good eyesight above and below the water, excellent hearing, and a good sense of touch. They have exceptionally sophisticated echolocation abilities, detecting the location and characteristics of prey and other objects in the water by emitting clicks and listening for echoes.
They are found in all oceans and most seas. Due to their enormous range, numbers, and density, relative distribution is difficult to estimate, but they clearly prefer higher latitudes and coastal areas over pelagic environments. Worldwide population estimates are uncertain, but recent consensus suggests a minimum of 50,000 in 2006.
Orcas hunt in deadly pods, family groups of up to 40 individuals. There appear to be both resident and transient pod populations of orcas. All pods use effective, cooperative hunting techniques that some liken to the behavior of wolf packs. Orcas use many different techniques to catch prey. Sometimes they beach themselves to catch seals on land, meaning they jump from the water onto land. They will also work together to catch larger prey or groups of prey such as schools of fish.
Orcas hunt varied prey including fish, cephalopods, sea birds, sea turtles, and mammals such as sea lions and whales. In fact, they will prey on almost any animal they find in the sea.
They are highly intelligent, social species, day-to-day they generally consists of foraging, travelling, resting and socializing. Orcas frequently engage in surface behaviour such as breaching and tail-slapping.
According to IUCN Red List, Orcas do not stay in one area and have been documented traveling long distances. For example, one study found a group of orcas traveling all the way from the waters off of Alaska to those near central California. This distance is more than 2000 Kilometers.
- The IUCN Red List assesses the orca's conservation status as data deficient because of the likelihood that two or more orca types are separate species.
- According to the IUCN Red List, orca are numerically abundant and very widely distributed; they presently defined and recognized and does not meet any of the criteria for a threatened status.
- Their scientific name is Orcinus orca, from it, the word Orcinus means “from the realm of the dead,” relating to the Roman god Orcus master of the underworld.