the killer whale

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  • 1. The Killer Whale Created by Elizabeth Mangan Information Retrieved from Chandler Pauls Presentation
  • 2. Killer Whales are the top predators in the sea. They are capable of attacks on other species of whales and several other sea animals like seals, sea lions, penguins, sting rays and even sharks. Still, they are considered one of the most magnificent animals in the world. Killer Whales, also known as Orcas, rule the sea. The only dangers they face are humans, as there is no other creature in the sea that is a threat to them.
  • 3. According to scientific research, male killer whales can live as long as 60 years, while female killer whales reach up to 90 years old. Killer whales are great swimmers reaching travel speeds up to 30 miles per hour. Killer whales are actually dolphins, even though they are called Whales. In fact, Killer Whales are the largest dolphin! They are 30 feet long and 10,000 pounds in average when they are fully grown.
  • 4. Killer Whales have a large sickle shaped dorsal fin, and large flippers. This dorsal fin is located at the top of the killer whales and they are easily seen when the killer whales are close. Large males can have dorsal fins as long as six feet tall! As dolphins, killer whales have one blow hole at the top of their heads, and they breathe air in above the surface of the water through this blow hole. The look of the killer whales is also very attractive and interesting with a combination of black with white parts giving killer whales an unparalleled appearance.
  • 5. Killer whales live in small pods which operate with a sophisticated social structure. These pods are formed by groups from 6 to 40 killer whales and they stay together during their whole life. Killer whale pods perform complex tasks which include protection for the young, sick or injured as well as team work for hunting
  • 6. The breeding season for killer whales range from winter to early spring and it is usually performed in warm waters. Calves are born between October and March after a gestation period of 16-17 months. Calves are born typically weighing 400 pounds and measuring from 6 to 8 feet long and they are able to swim beside their mother within thirty minutes of being born. In most cases, each female only gives birth to one calf. After birth, calves are nursed by their mothers and midwives for up to 12 months and sometimes even longer until they are able to take care of themselves.
  • 7. Killer whales usually survive on a diet of fish, squid, sharks, whales, seals, sea turtles, octopus, penguins, and sea gulls. They have powerful teeth which typically are about 3 inches long, and 1 inch in diameter. A common killer whale usually eats 550 pounds of food each day at least and they can travel hundreds of miles in order to catch seasonal prey.
  • 8. Killer whales make a variety of sounds which include clicks, whistles, and screams. These sounds are used to communicate with each other when hunting, mating or just to talk. Each pod even has its own characteristic sounds, which help members to recognize each other.
  • 9. Killer Whales are found in every ocean in the world as they can be found in tropical waters, as well as arctic waters. They can be found near coastal waters, as well as deep waters.
  • 10. Many people often wonder why are killer whales endangered if they are so unique? Sadly, there are many threats to the endangered killer whales that drastically decrease their population numbers. Many contaminants in the oceans kill the whales, causing their numbers to diminish. The contaminants often include oil spills, whales are struck by vessels or entangled in fishing gear. The killer whales are also often victims of whaling vessels and illegal whale hunting.