Bookmarkable URL:http://hdl.handle.net/10217/54520

Scientific Classification

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Cetacea
Family:Delphinidae
Genus:Orcinus
Genus species:Orcinus orca

Animal Characteristics

Head-Body Length:5-8 m
Weight:1300-5400 kg
Identification:Orcas are black with white patches above their eyes. A gray saddle is behind their dorsal fin, and their undersides are white.
Habitat:Oceans
Diet:Carnivore: fish, squid, seals, sea lions, walruses, otters, dolphins, penguins, birds, turtles, whales
Reproduction:Orcas do not have a specific breeding season, although most mating occurs during the summer months. The gestation period is 16-17 months long. The single calf may nurse for as long as three years. Orcas can live up to 40 years of age.
Orcas are highly social animals. They live in pods of up to 100 related individuals. These groups are matriarchal and hunt cooperatively together.
Behavior:When hunting, a pod will encircle and herd the prey into a small area. They will also often 'beach' themselves to catch animals such as seals.
Status:No special status
Interesting Facts:These whales can travel at speeds of 30 mph. They can dive 1,000 ft deep for 12 minutes. Their diving ability comes from the fact that they are capable of efficiently extracting oxygen from the water. Orcas have a lot of red blood cells to transport great amounts of oxygen, which is then stored in the muscles. Orcas have good hearing, vision, and touch, but no sense of smell.

Other Information

Geographic:All oceans, biggest populations are found in Arctic and Antarctic Oceans Date:1976-01 Subjects:sea mammal
Orca
Killer whale
Orcinus
Delphinidae
Toothed whales
Whales
Cetacea
Marine mammals
Mammals
Vertebrates
Chordata