An introduction to the nature of killer whale

Affiliations Killer Whale Information The killer whale Orcinus orcacommonly referred to as the orca, and less commonly as the blackfish, is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family.

An introduction to the nature of killer whale

This belief comes from long ago. Later, poor translations ended in a name that eventually brought more fear to people, killer whales; both titles are incorrect. That is why now conservation groups are trying to eradicate that name to be replaced simply by orcas.

Killer whales are marine mammals belonging to the family Delphinidae, formed by several species of dolphins, false killer whales and pilot whales. They are only related to whales up in the higher Cetacean order; however, most whales belong to the suborder Mysticeti baleen whales while orcas belong to the suborder Odontoceti toothed whales.

Orcas are very large and strong animals that can reach up to ten meters Morphological characteristics, social behavior and developed survival instinct make them apex predators and the mammal species more globally distributed after humans.

Killer Whales can swim up to 30 mph. Based on scientific evidence, orcas descend from a terrestrial ungulate species, closely related to hippopotamuses, but evolution over millions of years has result in these delightful animals that we know today.

Not all orca pods are the same, and many distinctive characteristics exist between them, so it is still under research if they are individual species created by a continuous evolutionary process, or their differences are only the consequence of their specific habitats and conditions.

One of these variants is their feeding habit. Orcas not only feed on the meat of marine mammals.

Account Options

Those inhabiting the waters of the eastern North Pacific known as residents prefer to feed primarily on salmon, transients who share the same region, usually make coordinated hunts for sea lions, minke whales and seals, among other species.

For the latter, they employ incredible strategies that attract the attention of scientists because they can even get to the shore to chase their victims and return to the sea easily without getting stuck, an activity difficult to understand with such size and weight.

Besides those amazing skills, orcas are a highly social species, organized in matriarchal structures, which have developed complex communication systems. Communication between pods is also another difference between the different groups that inhabit the oceans; there are not two pods with the same dialect or repertoire of sounds.

We immediately relate dolphins with intelligence and orcas should be included in this classification.

Orca (Killer Whale) Facts for Kids - NatureMapping

There is evidence to suggest that they are highly intelligent creatures, whose brain components are parallel to those from great apes, elephants and even humans. Even more, humans and cetaceans are at the top of the encephalization quotient EQ ; orcas are third is such list, only after, humans and bottlenose dolphins.

Orca intelligence featured in several scientific papers can be observed by ourselves in videos and documentaries.

Have you seen how they work in teams? You will be surprised. Regrettable orcas are not free from the threat caused by nature and human irresponsibility. Orcas can acquire these infections within their environment for various reasons, which turn out to be inevitable.

On the other hand, threats from human activities include commercial whaling, waste and noise pollution, declining prey by commercial fishing, global warming and their capture for displaying at water parks around the world.NATURE’s Killers in Eden examines a remarkable and mysterious partnership between killer whales and whalers.

On the southeast coast of Australia, the town of Eden nestles along the shores of. The killer whale or orca (Orcinus orca) is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family, of which it is the largest member.

Release date:

Killer whales have a diverse diet, although individual populations often specialize in particular types of prey. Orca (Orcinus orca)commonly known as Killer Whale Species Code: OROR What they look like: The orca (killer whale) is a toothed whale and is the largest member of the Dolphin family.

These large marine mammals are easily distinguished by their black-and-white coloration, large dorsal fin and a sleek, streamlined body. In killer whale societies, as in our own, identity is defined by the company you keep and what you do. It’s staggering to imagine how far we’ve progressed in our understanding of these cognitively complex, ecologically diverse, charismatic creatures.

An introduction to the nature of killer whale

Introduction to Orcas. Throughout history, orcas have been inadequately considered and the lack of knowledge about them, as well as the myths that have circulated for generations, have caused them to be cataloged as sea monsters, enemies of all aquatic species and mainly, “killer” whales.

Introduction; Overview of The IUCN Red List; Support The IUCN Redlist; Publications; which is generally regarded as the authority for marine mammal taxonomy, recognized a single killer whale species, Orcinus orca (Linnaeus, The Killer Whale, as the taxon is presently defined and recognized (Society for Marine Mammalogy ), does not.

Killers in Eden | About | Nature | PBS