The Killer Whale

Killer whales, also known as orcas (Orcinus Orca) are the largest species of whales in the oceanic dolphin family and they are considered to be the mammals that can be found anywhere in the world. They can be found in all oceans, but their social structure and their diet are different from one population to another.

The sizes of the killer whales also differ from one area to another and the medium length of the orcas that can be found on the Norvegian coast for example, can reach up to 7 meters in length. Usually, orca whales have a length of 10 meters and a weight of 9 tons. Orcas are part of the toothed whales category and they are ferocious predators, feeding on numerous types of fish, marine animals or even other species of whales. They can also feed on large sharks and they have no enemies, no natural predators.

The sex of the adult killer whales can be determined by observing the size and the shape of the dorsal fin and that is because male whales always have much bigger wings that can sometimes reach 1,5 meters. Female orcas live between 40-45 years, 10 years longer than the male orcas and usually they give birth to 5 babies during their lifetime.

Another interesting fact about killer whales is they have a very active social life, they live in groups that include several families. A family can have up to 5 members and the groups are matrilineal. Scientists who studied the behavior of orca killer whales discovered that each group has a different dialect and members of a group recognize each other by language.

Being very social, killer whales also hunt in groups and they can reach speed of up to 60 km per hour. They reputation is explained by the fact that they have 50 long, sharp teeth which are used to catch their pray.

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