Killer Whale Facts

Killer Whale Facts
The killer whale is a toothed whale that belongs to the oceanic dolphin family. It is also referred to as the orca whale or the blackfish or the grampus. Killer whales can be found in every ocean and every ocean climate from the Antarctic and Arctic to the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans but the majority of them are found in the cooler climates. Killer whales are the largest of the dolphin species. The killer whale is considered to be an apex predator, which means they have no natural predators to worry about. Killer whales are at risk from contamination by toxins such as PCBs, oil spills, conflicts with boats, and whaling.
Interesting Killer Whale Facts:
The killer whale is recognizable by its black and white pattern of color. They have white chests, black backs, and white circles above and behind their eyes.
The killer whale is the fastest sea creature, able to travel at speeds of 30 miles per hour.
The killer whale consumes approximately 5% of its body weight each day, which equals about 500 pounds.
Killer whales in the wild do not kill people. The killer whales that have harmed or killed people are those that have been kept in captivity in water parks or research facilities.
Killer whales each have a unique mark behind their dorsal fin. This mark makes it possible to distinguish one killer whale from another.
Killer whales are able to communicate vocally with each other. Like people in different regions, killer whales have their own accents unique to the 'pod' they are from.
Killer whales can grow to more than 30 feet in length and can weigh up to 12,000 lbs.
The brain of the killer whale is five times bigger than a human brain. Their brains are just as developed and structured as the human brain, making them very intelligent and social creatures.
Killer whales live in pods of 6 to 40 members, which are similar to large families in their social structure. They are protective of their injured, ill, and their young.
Killer whales do not mate with close relatives. They breed within their pods but not within their immediate gene pool.
The life expectancy of a wild killer whale is as long as 90 years for females and up to 60 years for males.
The life expectancy of captive killer whales is at best 30 years.
Female killer whales breed when they are between 12 and 16, and pregnancy lasts for 15 to 17 months. It is common for female killer whales to nurse their young for two years.
The killer whale is able to regulate blood flow to its brain and heart. This ensures they do not suffer lack of oxygen when deep in the water.
Killer whales are the only whales known to attack large marine animals, whales and sharks.
Many different species have been found in the killer whale's stomach including sharks, moose, polar bears, reptiles, seabirds, dolphins, and whales.
The killer whale has been on and off the endangered species lists, and many social and political battles have been fought trying to defend them from human behavior such as hunting, and the effects of our pollution on their health and lives.

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