Orca Whale

Orca Whales

Photo credit: Simply-san-juan.com

Common Name: Orca/Killer Whale

Scientific Name: Orcinus orca

Length as an Adult: Males may average 24ft (7.3m) Females average 20(ft) (6.0m) both may reach up to 32(ft) (9.7m)

Weight as an Adult: Both male and female may weigh up to 2.6-9 tons (2360kg)

Length and Weight at birth: The calf at birth can be anywhere from 7-8ft and can weigh 395 pounds (179kg)

Time spent nursing: Usually 12 months may be up to 24 months!

Range:  Found globally, including polar regions, from surf zone to open sea, 500 miles (800kg) 0f shoreline,

Likelihood of being seen on a whale watch in Massachusetts coastal waters:  Highly unlikely

Preferred food:  Fish, seals, squid, mostly anything they want, including other whales

Unusual characteristics: Male dorsal fin can be very straight, and may stand tall as 6ft (1.8m) Females on the other hand have small slightly curved dorsal fins, about 35in (90cm)

Appearance: Predominantly jet black body color, white patch behind eyes, also white patch on both sides, paddle-shaped flippers

General Information: Global Animal/ Powerful Hunters/ Wolf of the ocean/ largest of dolphin species

Unusual Habits: Raises head slowly to scan horizon

Status: Population numbers uknown, not currently listed as endangered or threatened

Threats: Toxins, loss of food,

References:

Society for Marine Mammalogy www.marinemammalscience.org

American Cetacean Society http://acsonline.org

Carwardine, Mark. Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises. London: Dorling Kindersley, 1995. Print.

 

Prepared by: Brandon Barboza