Largest living species of dolphin

The orca or killer whale ( Orcinus orca ) is a serrate whale belong to the oceanic dolphin family, of which it is the largest extremity. It is recognizable by its black-and-white patterned body. A cosmopolitan species, killer whale can be found in all of the global ‘s oceans in a assortment of marine environments, from Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas ; they are absent entirely from the Baltic and Black seas, and some areas of the Arctic Ocean. Orcas have a diverse diet, although individual populations often specialize in particular types of prey. Some feed entirely on pisces, while others hunt marine mammals such as seals and other species of dolphin. They have been known to attack whalebone giant calves, and even adult blue whales. Orcas are vertex predators, as they have no natural predators. They are highly social ; some populations are composed of very stable matrilineal family groups ( pods ) which are the most stable of any animal species. Their twist hunt techniques and song behaviours, which are much specific to a particular group and passed across generations, have been described as manifestations of animal acculturation.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature assesses the killer whale ‘s conservation status as data deficient because of the likelihood that two or more killer whale types are separate species. Some local populations are considered threatened or endangered due to prey depletion, habitat loss, pollution ( by PCBs ), capture for marine mammal parks, and conflicts with homo fisheries. In late 2005, the southern house physician killer whale, which swim in British Columbia and Washington waters, were placed on the U.S. Endangered Species list. raving mad orcas are not considered a menace to humans, and no fatal attack on humans has ever been documented. There have been cases of captive killer whale killing or injuring their handlers at marine theme parks. Orcas feature strongly in the mythologies of autochthonal cultures, and their reputation in unlike cultures ranges from being the soul of humans to merciless killers .


killer whale are normally referred to as “ killer whales ”, despite being a character of dolphinfish. [ 6 ] Since the 1960s, the consumption of “ killer whale ” rather of “ killer whale ” has steadily grown in common use. [ 7 ] The genus diagnose Orcinus means “ of the kingdom of the dead ”, or “ belong to Orcus “. [ 9 ] Ancient Romans originally used orca ( pl. orcae ) for these animals, possibly borrowing Ancient Greek ὄρυξ ( óryx ), which referred ( among other things ) to a whale species. As separate of the class Delphinidae, the species is more closely related to other oceanic dolphins than to other whales. [ 10 ] They are sometimes referred to as “ pilot whale ”, a diagnose besides used for other giant species. “ Grampus ” is a former appoint for the species, but is now rarely used. This think of of “ killer whale ” should not be confused with the genus Grampus, whose merely penis is Risso ‘s dolphin. [ 11 ]

Taxonomy and evolution

Orcinus citoniensis fossil, an extinct species of the same genus, Museo Capellini in fossil, an extinct species of the lapp genus, Museo Capellini in Bologna Modern orca skeletal system, Naturalis, Leiden Orcinus orca is the only recognized extant species in the genus Orcinus, and one of many animal species originally described by Carl Linnaeus in his landmark 1758 tenth edition of Systema Naturae. [ 12 ] Konrad Gessner wrote the first scientific description of an killer whale in his Piscium & aquatilium animantium natura of 1558, part of the larger Historia animalium, based on examination of a dead stranded animal in the Bay of Greifswald that had attracted a great deal of local interest. [ 13 ] The killer whale is one of 35 species in the oceanic dolphinfish syndicate, which first base appeared about 11 million years ago. The killer whale ancestry probably branched off curtly thereafter. Although it has morphologic similarities with the false cause of death whale, the pygmy killer whale and the fender whales, a report of cytochrome b-complex vitamin gene sequences indicates that its close extant relatives are the snubfin dolphins of the genus Orcaella. [ 15 ] however, a more recent ( 2018 ) learn places the killer whale as a sister taxonomic group to the Lissodelphininae, a clade that includes Lagenorhynchus and Cephalorhynchus. [ 16 ] In contrast, a 2019 phylogenetic study found the killer whale to be the second most basal member of the Delphinidae, with entirely the Atlantic white-sided dolphin ( Leucopleurus acutus ) being more basal. [ 17 ]


The three to five types of killer whale may be distinct enough to be considered different races, [ 18 ] subspecies, or possibly even species [ 19 ] ( see Species trouble ). The IUCN reported in 2008, “ The taxonomy of this genus is intelligibly in necessitate of revue, and it is likely that O. orca will be split into a count of different species or at least subspecies over the following few years. ” [ 3 ] Although large version in the ecological peculiarity of unlike killer whale groups complicate bare differentiation into types, [ 20 ] inquiry off the west coast of Canada and the United States in the 1970s and 1980s identified the take after three types :

  • Resident: These are the most commonly sighted of the three populations in the coastal waters of the northeast Pacific. Residents’ diets consist primarily of fish[21] and sometimes squid, and they live in complex and cohesive family groups called pods.[22] Female residents characteristically have rounded dorsal fin tips that terminate in a sharp corner. They visit the same areas consistently. British Columbia and Washington resident populations are amongst the most intensively studied marine mammals anywhere in the world. Researchers have identified and named over 300 orcas over the past 30 years.
  • Transient or Bigg’s: The diets of these whales consist almost exclusively of marine mammals.[21] Transients generally travel in small groups, usually of two to six animals, and have less persistent family bonds than residents.[25] Transients vocalize in less variable and less complex dialects.[26] Female transients are characterized by more triangular and pointed dorsal fins than those of residents. The grey or white area around the dorsal fin, known as the “saddle patch”, often contains some black colouring in residents. However, the saddle patches of transients are solid and uniformly grey. Transients roam widely along the coast; some individuals have been sighted in both southern Alaska and California. Transients are also referred to as Bigg’s orca in honour of cetologist Michael Bigg. The term has become increasingly common and may eventually replace the transient label.[28]
  • Offshore: A third population of orcas in the northeast Pacific was discovered in 1988, when a humpback whale researcher observed them in open water. As their name suggests, they travel far from shore and feed primarily on schooling fish. However, because they have large, scarred and nicked dorsal fins resembling those of mammal-hunting transients, it may be that they also eat mammals and sharks.[30] They have mostly been encountered off the west coast of Vancouver Island and near Haida Gwaii. Offshores typically congregate in groups of 20–75, with occasional sightings of larger groups of up to 200.[31] Little is known about their habits, but they are genetically distinct from residents and transients. Offshores appear to be smaller than the others, and females are characterized by dorsal fin tips that are continuously rounded.

Transients and residents live in the lapp areas, but avoid each other. [ 32 ] [ 33 ] other populations have not been deoxyadenosine monophosphate well studied, although speciate fish and mammal feed orcas have been distinguished elsewhere. [ 35 ] In addition, break populations of “ renaissance man ” ( fish- and mammal-eating ) and “ specialist ” ( mammal-eating ) killer whale have been identified off northwestern Europe. [ 36 ] [ 37 ] As with residents and transients, the life style of these whales appears to reflect their diet ; fish-eating killer whale in Alaska [ 38 ] and Norway [ 39 ] have resident-like social structures, while mammal-eating killer whale in Argentina and the Crozet Islands behave more like transients. Three types have been documented in the Antarctic. Two shadow species, named Orcinus nanus and Orcinus glacialis, were described during the 1980s by soviet researchers, but most cetacean researchers are doubting about their condition, and linking these directly to the types described below is difficult. [ 19 ] Some examples of variations in killer whale

  • Type A looks like a “typical” orca, a large, black-and-white form with a medium-sized white eye patch, living in open water and feeding mostly on minke whales.[19]
  • Type B is smaller than type A. It has a large white eye patch. Most of the dark parts of its body are medium grey instead of black, although it has a dark grey patch called a “dorsal cape”[41] stretching back from its forehead to just behind its dorsal fin. The white areas are stained slightly yellow. It feeds mostly on seals.[19]
  • Type C is the smallest and lives in larger groups than the others. Its eye patch is distinctively slanted forwards, rather than parallel to the body axis. Like type B, it is primarily white and medium grey, with a dark grey dorsal cape and yellow-tinged patches. Its only observed prey is the Antarctic cod.[19]
  • Type D was identified based on photographs of a 1955 mass stranding in New Zealand and six at-sea sightings since 2004. The first video record of this type was made in 2014 between the Kerguelen and Crozet Islands,[42] and again in 2017 off the coast of Cape Horn, Chile.[43] It is recognizable by its small white eye patch, narrower and shorter than usual dorsal fin, bulbous head (similar to a pilot whale), and smaller teeth.[44] Its geographic range appears to be circumglobal in sub-Antarctic waters between latitudes 40°S and 60°S. Although its diet is not determined, it likely includes fish, as determined by photographs around longline vessels, where Type D orcas appeared to be preying on Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides).[45][46]

Types B and C live close to the ice pack, and diatoms in these waters may be creditworthy for the yellow discolor of both types. [ 19 ] [ 47 ] Mitochondrial DNA sequences support the theory that these are recently diverged freestanding species. [ 48 ] More recently, accomplished mitochondrial sequence indicates the two antarctic groups that eat seals and pisces should be recognized as distinct species, as should the North Pacific transients, leaving the others as subspecies pending extra data. [ 49 ] Advanced methods that sequenced the entire mitochondrial genome revealed taxonomic differences in DNA between different populations. [ 50 ] A 2019 study of Type D killer whale besides found them to be distinct from other populations and possibly even a singular species. [ 45 ] Mammal-eating killer whale in unlike regions were long thought probably to be closely relate, but genetic test has refuted this guess. [ 51 ] There are seven identify ecotypes inhabiting isolated ecological niches. Of three killer whale ecotypes in the Antarctic, one prey on minke whales, the second on seals and penguins, and the third base on fish. Another ecotype lives in the eastern North Atlantic, while the three Northeast Pacific ecotypes are labelled the ephemeral, resident and offshore populations described above. Research has supported a proposal to reclassify the Antarctic seal- and fish-eating populations and the North Pacific transients as a clear-cut species, leaving the remaining ecotypes as subspecies. The first split in the killer whale population, between the North Pacific transients and the rest, occurred an estimated 700,000 years ago. Such a appointment would mean that each new species becomes discipline to separate conservation assessments. [ 50 ]

appearance and morphology

Different angle views of a typical killer whale ‘s appearance ( female ) Orcas are the largest extant members of the dolphinfish family. Males typically range from 6 to 8 metres ( 20 to 26 ft ) hanker and weigh in excess of 6 tonnes ( 5.9 farseeing tons ; 6.6 unretentive tons ). Females are smaller, by and large ranging from 5 to 7 m ( 16 to 23 foot ) and weighing about 3 to 4 tonnes ( 3.0 to 3.9 hanker tons ; 3.3 to 4.4 short tons ). Calves at birth weigh about 180 kg ( 400 pound ) and are about 2.4 m ( 7.9 foot ) hanker. [ 53 ] [ 54 ] The skeleton of the killer whale is of the distinctive delphinid structure, but more robust. [ 55 ] Its integument, unlike that of most other dolphinfish species, is characterized by a well-developed cuticular layer with a dense network of fascicles of collagen fibres. The killer whale typically has a precipitously contrasted black-and-white body ; being by and large black on the upper slope and ashen on the bottom. The integral lower jaw is white and from here, the coloration stretches across the bottom to the genital area ; narrowing between the flippers then widening some and extending into lateral pass flank patches close to the end. The tail good luck is besides white on the bottom while the eyes have white patches behind them and a grey or ashen “ saddle piece ” exists behind the abaxial flipper and across the back. [ 55 ] Males and females besides have different patterns of black and white skin in their genital areas. Juveniles have a yellow color. [ 55 ] Antarctic killer whale may have pale grey to about white backs. Both albino and melanistic orcas have been documented. Being the most distinctively pigment cetacean, [ 55 ] adult killer whale are rarely confused with any other species. When seen from a outdistance, juveniles can be confused with false killer whale or Risso ‘s dolphins. [ 59 ] Differences of dorsal fins between males ( front ) and females ( background ) Orca pectoral fins are large and rounded, resembling paddles, with those of males significantly larger than those of females. Dorsal fins besides display intimate dimorphism, with those of males about 1.8 m ( 5.9 foot ) high, more than twice the size of the female ‘s, with the male ‘s flipper more like a tall, elongated isosceles triangle, whereas the female ‘s is shorter and more curved. [ 60 ] In the skull, adult males have longer lower jaw than females, angstrom well as larger occipital crests. The snout is numb and lacks the beak of other species. [ 55 ] The killer whale ‘s teeth are very strong, and its chew the fat exert a mighty grip ; the upper tooth fall into the gaps between the lower tooth when the mouth is closed. The firm center and back tooth hold prey in place, while the front teeth are inclined slightly forward and outward to protect them from herculean jerking movements. Orcas have good eyesight above and below the water, excellent listening, and a good smell of touch. They have exceptionally sophisticate echolocation abilities, detecting the localization and characteristics of prey and other objects in the water by emitting clicks and listening for echoes, as do other members of the dolphin syndicate. The bastardly body temperature of the killer whale is 36 to 38 °C ( 97 to 100 °F ). [ 63 ] [ 64 ] Like most marine mammals, orcas have a level of insulating snivel ranging from 7.6 to 10 centimeter ( 3.0 to 3.9 in ) thickly beneath the bark. [ 63 ] The pulse is about 60 heartbeats per minute when the killer whale is at the surface, dropping to 30 beats/min when submerged. [ 65 ] An person killer whale can often be identified from its abaxial five and saddleback eyepatch. Variations such as nicks, scratches, and tears on the abaxial tail fin and the model of white or grey in the saddle mend are unique. Published directories contain identifying photograph and names for hundreds of North Pacific animals. photographic identification has enabled the local anesthetic population of killer whale to be counted each year rather than estimated, and has enabled big insight into liveliness cycles and sociable structures .

Range and habitat

killer whale are found in all oceans and most seas. Due to their enormous range, numbers, and concentration, relative distribution is difficult to estimate, [ 67 ] but they clearly prefer higher latitudes and coastal areas over oceanic environments. Areas which serve as major study sites for the species include the coasts of Iceland, Norway, the Valdes Peninsula of Argentina, the Crozet Islands, New Zealand and parts of the west coast of North America, from California to Alaska. taxonomic surveys indicate the highest densities of killer whale ( > 0.40 individuals per 100 km2 ) in the northeast Atlantic around the norwegian coast, in the north Pacific along the aleutian Islands, the Gulf of Alaska and in the Southern Ocean off much of the coast of Antarctica. [ 67 ] They are considered “ coarse ” ( 0.20–0.40 individuals per 100 km2 ) in the eastern Pacific along the coasts of British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, in the North Atlantic Ocean around Iceland and the Faroe Islands. High densities have besides been reported but not quantified in the western North Pacific around the Sea of Japan, Sea of Okhotsk, Kuril Islands, Kamchatka and the Commander Islands and in the Southern Hemisphere off southerly Brazil and the tip of southern Africa. They are reported as seasonally common in the Canadian Arctic, including Baffin Bay between Greenland and Nunavut, a well as Tasmania and Macquarie Island. [ 67 ] regularly occurring or discrete populations exist off Northwest Europe, California, Patagonia, the Crozet Islands, Marion Island, southern Australia and New Zealand. [ 37 ] [ 67 ] [ 70 ] The northwest atlantic population of at least 67 individuals ranges from Labrador and Newfoundland to New England with sightings to Cape Cod and Long Island. [ 71 ] information for offshore regions and warmer waters is more barely, but widespread sightings indicate that the killer whale can survive in most water system temperatures. They have been sighted, though more infrequently, in the Mediterranean, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, Banderas Bay on Mexico ‘s west slide and the Caribbean. [ 67 ] Over 50 individual whales have been documented in the northern indian Ocean, including two individuals that were sighted in the Persian Gulf in 2008 and off Sri Lanka in 2015. [ 72 ] Those orcas may occasionally enter the Red Sea through the Gulf of Aden. [ 73 ] The advanced status of the species along coastal mainland China and its vicinity is strange. Recorded sightings have been made from about the stallion shoreline. [ 74 ] A varied population is likely to exist in the central Pacific, with some sightings off Hawaii. [ 75 ] [ 76 ] Distinct populations may besides exist off the west coast of tropical Africa, [ 77 ] and Papua New Guinea. [ 78 ] In the Mediterranean, killer whale are considered “ visitors ”, probably from the North Atlantic, and sightings become less frequent farther east. however, a little year-round population is known to exist in the Strait of Gibraltar, by and large on the Atlantic side. [ 79 ] [ 80 ] Orcas besides appear to regularly occur off the Galápagos Islands. [ 81 ] In the Antarctic, killer whale range up to the border of the pack ice and are believed to guess into the dense pack internal-combustion engine, finding open leads much like beluga whales in the Arctic. however, orcas are merely seasonal visitors to Arctic waters, and do not approach the pack ice in the summer. With the rapid Arctic sea ice decay in the Hudson Strait, their range now extends deeply into the northwest Atlantic. [ 82 ] Occasionally, killer whale swim into fresh water rivers. They have been documented 100 myocardial infarction ( 160 kilometer ) up the Columbia River in the United States. [ 84 ] They have besides been found in the Fraser River in Canada and the Horikawa River in Japan. migration patterns are ailing understand. Each summer, the like individuals appear off the coasts of British Columbia and Washington. Despite decades of inquiry, where these animals go for the respite of the year remains stranger. transient pods have been sighted from southern Alaska to central California .


Worldwide population estimates are uncertain, but recent consensus suggests a minimal of 50,000 ( 2006 ). [ 3 ] [ 31 ] Local estimates include roughly 25,000 in the Antarctic, 8,500 in the tropical Pacific, 2,250–2,700 off the cool northeast Pacific and 500–1,500 off Norway. Japan ‘s Fisheries Agency estimated in the 2000s that 2,321 orcas were in the seas around Japan. [ 88 ] [ 89 ]


Tail-slapping in Vestfjorden, NorwayA group of killer whales has surfaced. Four dorsal fins are visible, three of which curve backward at the tip. Resident ( fish-eating ) killer whale : The swerve dorsal fins are typical of resident females . Resident orca pursuing a chinook killer whale are apex predators, meaning that they themselves have no natural predators. They are sometimes called “ wolves of the ocean ”, because they hunt in groups like wolf packs. [ 90 ] Orcas hunt varied prey including pisces, cephalopods, mammals, seabirds, and ocean turtles. different populations or ecotypes may specialize, and some can have a dramatic impingement on raven species. [ 92 ] however, whales in tropical areas appear to have more generalize diets due to lower food productiveness. [ 76 ] [ 77 ] Orcas spend most of their clock at shallow depths, [ 93 ] but occasionally dive several hundred metres depending on their prey. [ 94 ] [ 95 ]


Fish-eating killer whale prey on around 30 species of fish. Some populations in the norwegian and Greenland sea specialize in herring and follow that fish ‘s autumnal migration to the norwegian slide. Salmon bill for 96 % of northeast Pacific residents ‘ diet, including 65 % of big, fatso Chinook. Chum salmon are besides feed, but smaller red salmon and pink salmon are not a significant food item. depletion of specific raven species in an area is, therefore, cause for concern for local populations, despite the high diverseness of prey. On average, an killer whale eats 227 kilograms ( 500 pound ) each day. [ 97 ] While salmon are normally hunted by an individual giant or a little group, herring are much caught using carousel feed : the killer whale violence the herring into a tight ball by releasing bursts of bubbles or flashing their ashen undersides. They then slap the ball with their tail flukes, stunning or killing up to 15 pisces at a time, then eating them one by one. Carousel run has alone been documented in the norwegian killer whale population, arsenic well as some oceanic dolphinfish species. [ 98 ] In New Zealand, sharks and rays appear to be significant prey, including eagle rays, long-tail and short-tail stingrays, common threshers, legato hammerheads, blue sharks, basking sharks, and shortfin mako. [ 99 ] [ 100 ] With sharks, killer whale may herd them to the surface and strike them with their tail flukes, [ 99 ] while bottom-dwelling rays are cornered, pinned to the ground and taken to the surface. [ 101 ] In other parts of the world, orcas have preyed on broadnose sevengill sharks, [ 102 ] small whale sharks [ 103 ] and even big white sharks. [ 102 ] [ 104 ] Competition between killer whale and flannel sharks is probable in regions where their diets overlap. [ 105 ] The arrival of killer whale in an area can cause white sharks to flee and forage elsewhere. [ 106 ] Orcas appear to target the liver of sharks. [ 102 ] [ 104 ] A copulate of male killer whale, Port and Starboard, have become well-known for hunting big whites and other sharks off the south african coast. [ 107 ]

Mammals and birds

killer whale are sophisticated and effective predators of marine mammals. thirty-two cetacean species have been recorded as prey, from observing killer whale feed activity, examining the stomach contents of dead killer whale, and seeing scars on the bodies of surviving raven animals. Groups tied attack larger cetaceans such as minke whales, grey whales, [ 108 ] [ 109 ] and, rarely, sperm whales or blue sky whales. [ 35 ] [ 110 ] [ 111 ] [ 112 ] In cases where blue whales are attacked, american samoa many as 50 killer whale will join the hunt to successfully kill the larger giant, taking turns trying to harass and drown the blue whale in groups of six to eight to attack when one group becomes exhausted. [ 113 ] depredation by killer whale on giant calves in high-productivity, high-latitude areas may account for great giant migrations during breeding season to low-productivity tropical waters where killer whale are scarcer. [ 108 ] [ 114 ] Hunting a large whale normally takes respective hours. Orcas by and large attack unseasoned or weak animals. [ 108 ] When hunting a young giant, a group chases it and its mother to exhaustion. finally, they separate the pair and surround the calf, drowning it by keeping it from surfacing, and may consume merely its jaw and clapper. [ 108 ] Pods of female sperm whales sometimes protect themselves by forming a protective circle around their calves with their flukes facing outwards, using them to repel the attackers. [ 115 ] rarely, large orca pods can overwhelm adult female sperm whales, but the ability to overcome an pornographic bull is not recorded. [ 116 ] A once controversial claim that orca pods can besides prey upon a amply grown blue whale — Balaenoptera musculus, the largest animal to have always existed—has been verified in a 2019 event documented at the Bremer Marine Park, off the southerly coast of Australia. [ 117 ] anterior to the second coming of industrial whale, great whales may have been the major food source for killer whale. The insertion of advanced whaling techniques may have aided killer whale by the heavy of exploding harpoons indicating the handiness of prey to scavenge, and compressed publicize inflation of giant carcasses causing them to float, frankincense exposing them to scavenging. however, the devastation of big whale populations by unchained whale has possibly reduced their handiness for killer whale, and caused them to expand their consumption of smaller marine mammals, thus contributing to the decline of these as well. [ 114 ] Orca beaching to capture sea lion at Valdes Peninsula Orcas naiant in close synchronization equitable below the surface of the water as they charge an ice rink ice floe bearing a crabeater seal. By hand in glove hunting in this manner, the whales create a firm bow wave with which they hope to wash the seal off the ice ice floe. other nautical mammal prey species include pinnipeds and ocean otters. The most frequently preyed on pinniped mammal species include harbor seal, California sea leo, Steller ocean leo, South American ocean lion, southern elephant cachet and walrus. [ 118 ] Often, to avoid wound, orcas disable their prey before killing and eating it. This may involve throwing it in the air, slapping it with their tails, ramming it, or gap and landing on it. In the aleut Islands, a refuse in ocean otter populations in the 1990s was controversially attributed by some scientists to orca predation, although with no directly testify. [ 120 ] The decline of sea otters followed a refuse in harbor varnish and Steller sea leo populations, the killer whale ‘s prefer prey, [ a ] [ 122 ] which in sour may be substitutes for their original prey, now decimated by industrial whale. [ 123 ] [ 124 ] [ 125 ] In steeply banked beaches off Península Valdés, Argentina, and the Crozet Islands, orcas feed on sea lions and elephant seals in shoal water, even beaching temporarily to grab prey before wriggling back to the sea. Beaching, normally fatal to cetaceans, is not an natural demeanor, and can require years of practice for the unseasoned. Orcas can then release the animal near adolescent whales, allowing the younger whales to exercise the unmanageable capture proficiency on the now-weakened prey. “ Wave-hunting ” orcas “ spy-hop ” to locate Weddell seals, crabeater seals, leopard seals, and penguins resting on frost floes, and then swim in groups to create waves that wash over the ice floe. This washes the prey into the water, where other killer whale lie in wait. [ 50 ] [ 128 ] [ 129 ] killer whale have besides been observed preying on planetary mammals, such as deer swim between islands off the northwest coast of North America. Orca cannibalism has besides been reported based on analysis of stomach contents, but this is probable to be the consequence of scavenge remains dumped by whalers. One killer whale was besides attacked by its companions after being shot. [ 35 ] Although resident orcas have never been observed to eat other nautical mammals, they occasionally harass and kill porpoises and seals for no apparent reason. Orcas in many areas may prey on cormorants and gulls. A captive killer whale at Marineland of Canada discovered it could regurgitate pisces onto the surface, attracting sea gulls, and then eat the birds. Four others then learned to copy the behavior. [ 133 ]


A killer whale leaping out of the water is about to land on its back. Orcas, like this one near Alaska, normally rupture, frequently lifting their entire bodies out of the water. daily killer whale behavior generally consists of scrounge, travelling, resting and socializing. Orcas frequently engage in come on behavior such as transgress ( jumping wholly out of the water ) and tail-slapping. These activities may have a diverseness of purposes, such as courtship, communication, dislodging parasites, or play. Spyhopping is a behavior in which a whale holds its head above water to view its surroundings. Resident orcas swim aboard porpoises and other dolphins. [ 135 ]

sociable structure

killer whale are noteworthy for their complex societies. only elephants and higher primates live in comparably complex social structures. Due to orcas ‘ complex social bonds, many marine experts have concerns about how humane it is to keep them in enslavement. [ 137 ] resident killer whale in the eastern North Pacific live in peculiarly complex and stable social groups. Unlike any other known mammal social social organization, resident whales live with their mothers for their entire lives. These family groups are based on matrilines consisting of the eldest female ( matriarch ) and her sons and daughters, and the descendants of her daughters, etc. The average size of a matriline is 5.5 animals. Because females can reach age 90, a many as four generations travel together. These matrilineal groups are highly stable. Individuals separate for lone a few hours at a time, to mate or forage. With one exception, an killer whale named Luna, no permanent separation of an person from a resident matriline has been recorded .
closely associate matrilines form informal aggregations called pods, normally consisting of one to four matrilines. Unlike matrilines, pods may separate for weeks or months at a time. deoxyribonucleic acid testing indicates resident males about always mate with females from other pods. Clans, the next level of resident social structure, are composed of pods with alike dialects, and common but older maternal inheritance. Clan ranges overlap, mingling pods from different clans. The highest association layer is the community, which consists of pods that regularly associate with each other but share no maternal relations or dialects. [ 140 ] transient pods are smaller than nonmigratory pods, typically consisting of an adult female and one or two of her offspring. Males typically wield stronger relationships with their mothers than other females. These bonds can extend well into adulthood. Unlike residents, extended or permanent legal separation of ephemeral offspring from natal matrilines is coarse, with juveniles and adults of both sexes participating. Some males become “ rovers ” and do not form long-run associations, occasionally joining groups that contain generative females. As in resident clans, transient residential district members parcel an acoustic repertoire, although regional differences in vocalizations have been noted. killer whale of the same sex and age group may engage in physical contact and synchronous surface. These behaviours do not occur randomly among individuals in a pod, providing evidence of “ friendships ”. [ 143 ] [ 144 ]


Like all cetaceans, killer whale depend heavily on submerged good for orientation course, prey, and communication. They produce three categories of sounds : clicks, whistles, and pulsed calls. Clicks are believed to be used primarily for seafaring and discriminating prey and other objects in the smother environment, but are besides normally listen during sociable interactions. [ 31 ] Northeast Pacific resident groups tend to be much more vocal music than ephemeral groups in the like waters. Residents feed primarily on Chinook and buddy salmon, which are insensitive to orca calls ( inferred from the audiogram of Atlantic salmon ). In contrast, the marine mammal prey of transients hear whale calls well and frankincense transients are typically silent. vocal music behavior in these whales is chiefly limit to surfacing activities and mill ( decelerate swim with no apparent commission ) after a kill. [ 146 ] All members of a nonmigratory pod use exchangeable calls, known jointly as a dialect. Dialects are composed of particular numbers and types of discrete, repetitive calls. They are complex and stable over fourth dimension. [ 147 ] Call patterns and structure are distinctive within matrilines. [ 148 ] Newborns produce calls like to their mothers, but have a more limited repertoire. Individuals likely learn their dialect through contact with pod members. [ 149 ] Family-specific calls have been observed more frequently in the days following a calf ‘s birth, which may help the calf learn them. [ 150 ] Dialects are probably an authoritative means of maintaining group identity and cohesiveness. similarity in dialects probably reflects the degree of relatedness between pods, with version growing over time. When pods suffer, prevailing call types decrease and subset margin call types increase. The consumption of both predict types is called biphonation. The increased subset name types may be the distinguishing agent between pods and inter-pod relations. [ 148 ] Dialects besides distinguish types. nonmigratory dialects contain seven to 17 ( mean = 11 ) distinctive call types. All members of the north american english west coast transeunt community express the lapp basic dialect, although minor regional variation in call types is discernible. preliminary research indicates offshore killer whale have group-specific dialects unlike those of residents and transients.

norwegian and Icelandic herring -eating killer whale appear to have different vocalizations for activities like hunting. [ 152 ] A population that live in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica have 28 building complex burst-pulse and pennywhistle calls. [ 153 ]


Orcas have the second-heaviest brains among marine mammals [ 154 ] ( after sperm whales, which have the largest brain of any animal ). [ 155 ] They can be trained in enslavement and are frequently described as healthy, [ 156 ] although shaping and measuring “ news ” is difficult in a species whose environment and behavioral strategies are identical different from those of humans .
An killer whale plays with a ball of internal-combustion engine, soon after a research worker threw a snowball at the giant. Orcas imitate others, and seem to intentionally teach skills to their kin. Off the Crozet Islands, mothers push their calves onto the beach, waiting to pull the child back if needed. People who have interacted close with killer whale offer numerous anecdotes demonstrating the whales ‘ curiosity, fun, and ability to solve problems. alaskan orcas have not only learned how to steal pisces from longlines, but have besides overcome a diverseness of techniques designed to stop them, such as the function of unbaited lines as decoy. once, fishermen placed their boats respective miles apart, taking turns retrieving little amounts of their catch, in the hope that the whales would not have enough time to move between boats to steal the overtake as it was being retrieved. A research worker described what happened future :

It worked truly well for a while. then the whales split into two groups. It did n’t even take them an hour to figure it out. They were indeed thrilled when they figured out what was going on, that we were playing games. They were breaching by the boats. — Craig Matkin

In other anecdotes, researchers describe incidents in which wild orcas playfully tease humans by repeatedly moving objects the humans are trying to reach, [ 159 ] or suddenly start to toss around a ball of ice after a human throws a snowball. [ 160 ] The killer whale ‘s use of dialects and the passing of other learn behaviours from generation to generation have been described as a form of animal culture. [ 161 ]

The complex and stable vocal and behavioral cultures of sympatric groups of killer whales ( Orcinus orca ) appear to have no analogue outside humans and represent an independent evolution of cultural faculties. [ 162 ]

Life cycle

Female orcas begin to mature at around the age of 10 and reach bill fertility about 20, [ 163 ] experiencing periods of polyestrous cycling separated by non-cycling periods of three to 16 months. Females can frequently breed until age 40, followed by a rapid decrease in fertility. [ 163 ] Orcas are among the few animals that undergo menopause and live for decades after they have finished breeding. [ 164 ] [ 165 ] The lifespans of wild females average 50 to 80 years. [ 166 ] Some are claimed to have lived substantially longer : Granny ( J2 ) was estimated by some researchers to have been deoxyadenosine monophosphate honest-to-god as 105 years at the time of her death, though a biopsy sample indicated her senesce as 65 to 80 years. [ 168 ] [ 169 ] It is thought that killer whale held in captivity tend to have shorter lives than those in the wild, although this is subject to scientific debate. [ 166 ] [ 170 ] [ 171 ] Males mate with females from other pods, which prevents inbreeding. Gestation varies from 15 to 18 months. Mothers normally calve a single offspring about once every five years. In resident pods, births occur at any time of year, although winter is the most common. Mortality is extremely high during the first seven months of life, when 37–50 % of all calves die. Weaning begins at about 12 months of long time, and is complete by two years. According to observations in several regions, all male and female pod members participate in the care of the young. Males sexually mature at the historic period of 15, but do not typically reproduce until age 21. fantastic males live around 29 years on average, with a maximum of about 60 years. One male, known as Old Tom, was reportedly spotted every winter between the 1840s and 1930 off New South Wales, Australia, which would have made him up to 90 years old. interrogation of his teeth indicated he died round historic period 35, [ 174 ] but this method of age decision is now believed to be inaccurate for older animals. [ 175 ] One male known to researchers in the Pacific Northwest ( identified as J1 ) was estimated to have been 59 years honest-to-god when he died in 2010. [ 176 ] Orcas are unique among cetaceans, as their caudally sections elongate with age, making their heads relatively shorter. Infanticide, once thought to occur only in captive killer whale, was observed in wild populations by researchers off british Columbia on December 2, 2016. In this incidental, an pornographic male killed the calf of a female within the same pod, with the adult male ‘s mother besides joining in the assail. It is theorized that the male killed the young calf in order to mate with its mother ( something that occurs in other carnivore species ), while the male ‘s beget supported the education opportunity for her son. The attack ended when the calf ‘s mother struck and injured the attacking male. such behavior matches that of many smaller dolphin species, such as the bottle-nosed whale dolphinfish. [ 177 ]


Killer whale forges through small ice floes. Its back is dark from the head to just behind the dorsal fin, where there is a light grey saddle patch. Behind this, and on its lower side, its skin is an intermediate shade. The type C killer whale has two-toned grey colouring, including a blue “ dorsal cape ”, in body areas where most orcas have solid black color. Research is ongoing into whether one or more killer whale types are distinct species in motivation of security. In 2008, the IUCN ( International Union for Conservation of Nature ) changed its judgment of the killer whale ‘s conservation condition from conservation dependent to data deficient, recognizing that one or more killer whale types may actually be separate, queer species. [ 3 ] Depletion of prey species, pollution, large-scale petroleum spills, and habitat affray caused by noise and conflicts with boats are the most significant worldwide threats. [ 3 ] In January 2020, the foremost killer whale in England and Wales since 2001 was found dead with a large fragment of credit card in its stomach. [ 178 ] Like early animals at the highest trophic levels, the killer whale is particularly at risk of poisoning from bioaccumulation of toxins, including Polychlorinated biphenyls ( PCBs ). european harbor seals have problems in generative and immune functions associated with high levels of PCBs and relate contaminants, and a view off the Washington coast found PCB levels in killer whale were higher than levels that had caused health problems in harbor seals. Blubber samples in the norwegian Arctic display higher levels of PCBs, pesticides and brominated flame-retardants than in polar bears. A 2018 cogitation published in Science found that ball-shaped killer whale populations are poised to dramatically decline due such toxic contamination. [ 180 ] [ 181 ] In the Pacific Northwest, violent salmon stocks, a main resident food reservoir, have declined dramatically in late years. [ 3 ] In the Puget Sound region, alone 75 whales remain with few births over the survive few years. [ 182 ] On the west slide of Alaska and the aleutian Islands, seal and sea lion populations have besides well declined .
Two killer whales, one large and one small, swim close together. Their dorsal fins curve backward. An adult female and her calf In 2005, the United States government listed the southerly resident community as an endangered population under the Endangered Species Act. [ 31 ] This residential district comprises three pods which live largely in the Georgia and Haro Straits and Puget Sound in British Columbia and Washington. They do not breed outside of their community, which was once estimated at around 200 animals and belated shrank to around 90. [ 184 ] In October 2008, the annual survey revealed seven were missing and presumed dead, reducing the count to 83. [ 185 ] This is potentially the largest worsen in the population in the past 10 years. These deaths can be attributed to declines in Chinook salmon. [ 185 ] Scientist Ken Balcomb has extensively studied killer whale since 1976 ; he is the research biologist responsible for discovering U.S. Navy sonar may harm killer whale. He studied orcas from the Center for Whale Research, located in Friday Harbor, Washington. [ 186 ] He was besides able to study orcas from “ his dwelling porch perched above Puget Sound, where the animals hunt and play in summer months ”. [ 186 ] In May 2003, Balcomb ( along with early whale watchers near the Puget Sound coastline ) noticed uncharacteristic behaviour displayed by the killer whale. The whales seemed “ agitated and were moving haphazard, attempting to lift their heads free of the urine ” to escape the sound of the sonars. [ 186 ] “ Balcomb confirmed at the time that foreign subaqueous pinging noises detected with submerged microphones were sonar. The sound originated from a U.S. Navy frigate 12 miles ( 19 kilometres ) distant, Balcomb said. ” [ 186 ] The impact of sonar waves on killer whale is potentially dangerous. Three years anterior to Balcomb ‘s discovery, research in the Bahamas showed 14 beaked whales washed up on the shore. These whales were beached on the sidereal day U.S. Navy destroyers were activated into sonar exercise. [ 186 ] Of the 14 whales beached, six of them died. These six dead whales were studied, and CAT scans of two of the whale heads showed hemorrhaging around the brain and the ears, which is reproducible with decompression nausea. [ 186 ] Another conservation concern was made populace in September 2008 when the canadian government decided it was not necessity to enforce further protections ( including the Species at Risk Act in place to protect endanger animals along with their habitats ) for killer whale aside from the laws already in seat. In reception to this decision, six environmental groups sued the federal politics, claiming killer whale were facing many threats on the british Columbia Coast and the federal government did nothing to protect them from these threats. [ 187 ] A legal and scientific nonprofit administration, Ecojustice, led the lawsuit and represented the David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence, Greenpeace Canada, International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, and the Wilderness Committee. [ 187 ] many scientists involved in this lawsuit, including Bill Wareham, a marine scientist with the David Suzuki Foundation, noted increased boat traffic, water toxic wastes, and low salmon population as major threats, putting approximately 87 orcas on the british Columbia Coast in danger. [ 187 ] Underwater randomness from shipping, drill, and other homo activities is a significant concern in some key killer whale habitats, including Johnstone Strait and Haro Strait. In the mid-1990s, loud subaqueous noises from pink-orange farms were used to deter seals. Orcas besides avoided the surrounding waters. [ 189 ] High-intensity sonar used by the Navy interrupt killer whale along with other marine mammals. [ 190 ] Orcas are democratic with whale watchers, which may stress the whales and alter their demeanor, particularly if boats approach excessively close or block their lines of locomotion. [ 191 ] The Exxon Valdez petroleum spill adversely affected killer whale in Prince William Sound and Alaska ‘s Kenai Fjords region. eleven members ( about half ) of one resident pod disappeared in the following year. The spill damaged salmon and other prey populations, which in turn damaged local killer whale. By 2009, scientists estimated the AT1 transeunt population ( considered region of a larger population of 346 transients ), numbered lone seven individuals and had not reproduced since the spill. This population is expected to die out. [ 192 ] [ 193 ] killer whale are included in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species ( CITES ), meaning external trade ( including in parts/derivatives ) is regulated. [ 4 ]

relationship with humans

autochthonal cultures

The autochthonal peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast feature killer whale throughout their art, history, spiritualty and religion. The Haida regarded killer whale as the most potent animals in the ocean, and their mythology tells of killer whale living in houses and towns under the ocean. According to these myths, they took on homo form when submerged, and humans who drowned went to live with them. For the Kwakwaka’wakw, the killer whale was regarded as the rule of the submarine world, with sea lions for slaves and dolphins for warriors. In Nuu-chah-nulth and Kwakwaka’wakw mythology, killer whale may embody the soul of asleep chiefs. The Tlingit of southeastern Alaska regarded the killer whale as custodian of the ocean and a benefactor of humans. The Maritime Archaic people of Newfoundland besides had great respect for killer whale, as evidenced by stone carvings found in a 4,000-year-old burying at the Port astronomical unit Choix Archaeological Site. [ 196 ] [ 197 ] In the tales and beliefs of the siberian Yupik people, orcas are said to appear as wolves in winter, and wolves as killer whale in summer. [ 198 ] [ 199 ] [ 200 ] [ 201 ] Orcas are believed to assist their hunters in driving walrus. [ 202 ] Reverence is expressed in several forms : the gravy boat represents the animal, and a wooden carving hang from the hunter ‘s belt out. [ 200 ] belittled sacrifices such as tobacco or kernel are strewn into the sea for them. [ 202 ] [ 201 ] The Ainu people of Hokkaido, the Kuril Islands, and southerly Sakhalin frequently referred to orcas in their folklore and myth as Repun Kamuy ( God of Sea/Offshore ) to bring fortunes ( whales ) to the coasts, and there had been traditional funerals for stranded or deceased killer whale akin to funerals for other animals such as embrown bears. [ 203 ]

“ Killer ” pigeonhole

In western cultures, orcas were historically feared as dangerous, savage predators. The beginning written description of an killer whale was given by Pliny the Elder circa AD 70, who wrote, “ Orcas ( the appearance of which no prototype can express, other than an enormous mass of savage flesh with teeth ) are the enemy of [ early kinds of giant ] … they charge and pierce them like warships ramming. ” [ 205 ] Killer whale silhouette, with two projections above shown above the blowhole. [13] male killer whale depicted in St Mary ‘s in Greifswald, Germany, 1545 Of the identical few confirm attacks on humans by raving mad orcas, none have been fatal. [ 206 ] In one example, killer whale tried to tip methamphetamine floes on which a frank team and photographer of the Terra Nova Expedition were standing. [ 207 ] The sled dogs ‘ bark is speculated to have sounded adequate like cachet calls to trigger the killer whale ‘s hunt curiosity. In the 1970s, a surfer in California was bitten, and in 2005, a boy in Alaska who was splashing in a region frequented by seaport seals was bumped by an killer whale that apparently misidentified him as raven. [ 208 ] Unlike wilderness killer whale, captive killer whale have made about two twelve attacks on humans since the 1970s, some of which have been fatal. [ 209 ] [ 210 ] contest with fishermen besides led to orcas being regarded as pests. In the waters of the Pacific Northwest and Iceland, the shoot of killer whale was accepted and even encouraged by governments. As an indication of the intensity of shooting that occurred until reasonably recently, about 25 % of the killer whale captured in Puget Sound for aquariums through 1970 bear bullet scars. The U.S. Navy claimed to have measuredly killed hundreds of killer whale in Icelandic waters in 1956 with machine guns, rockets, and depth charges. [ 212 ] [ 213 ] From July to October 2020 there were at least forty authentic reports of killer whale attacking boats off the Atlantic slide of Portugal and Spain, unusual and unprecedented demeanor. The nudge, bite and ramming attacks, on medium-sized seafaring boats sailing at moderate accelerate, concentrated on the rudder, with some impacts on the hull. A small group of killer whale are believed to be creditworthy, with three juveniles which have been named black Gladis, white Gladis and grey Gladis, identified as stage in most attacks. No one was injured in any of the attacks. The portuguese coastguard banned small sailing vessels from a region where respective incidents had been reported. It is thought that the behavior is playful, rather than aggressive or revengeful. [ 214 ]

modern Western attitudes

Ingrid Visser ‘s research team filming orcas in New Zealand western attitudes towards orcas have changed dramatically in late decades. In the mid-1960s and early 1970s, killer whale came to much greater public and scientific awareness, starting with the first live-capture and expose of an killer whale known as Moby Doll, a nonmigratory harpooned off Saturna Island in 1964. so little was known at the time, it was closely two months before the whale ‘s keepers discovered what food ( fish ) it was volition to eat. To the surprise of those who saw him, Moby Doll was a docile, non-aggressive whale who made no attempts to attack humans .
Killer whale wrapped in white cloth on a boat, surrounded by four people. A board braces its dorsal fin. In 2002, the orphan Springer was successfully returned to her family. between 1964 and 1976, 50 killer whale from the Pacific Northwest were captured for expose in aquarium, and populace interest in the animals grew. In the 1970s, research pioneered by Michael Bigg led to the discovery of the species ‘ complex social structure, its use of vocal music communication, and its inordinately stable mother–offspring bonds. Through photo-identification techniques, individuals were named and tracked over decades. Bigg ‘s techniques besides revealed the Pacific Northwest population was in the moo hundreds rather than the thousands that had been previously assumed. The southerly nonmigratory community alone had lost 48 of its members to captivity ; by 1976, only 80 remained. In the Pacific Northwest, the species that had thoughtlessly been targeted became a cultural icon within a few decades. [ 184 ] The public ‘s growing appreciation besides led to growing opposition to whale–keeping in aquarium. only one giant has been taken in north american waters since 1976. In recent years, the extent of the public ‘s interest in killer whale has manifested itself in several high-profile efforts surrounding individuals. Following the success of the 1993 movie Free Willy, the movie ‘s prisoner star Keiko was returned to the coast of his native Iceland in 2002. The film director of the International Marine Mammal Project for the Earth Island Institute, David Phillips, led the efforts to return Keiko to the Iceland waters. [ 218 ] Keiko however did not adapt to the harsh climate of the Arctic Ocean, and died a class into his unblock after contracting pneumonia, at the long time of 27. [ 219 ] In 2002, the orphan Springer was discovered in Puget Sound, Washington. She became the first whale to be successfully reintegrated into a wild pod after human treatment, crystallizing decades of research into the outspoken behavior and social social organization of the region ‘s killer whale. [ 220 ] The keep open of Springer raised hopes that another young killer whale named Luna, which had become separated from his pod, could be returned to it. however, his subject was marked by controversy about whether and how to intervene, and in 2006, Luna was killed by a boat propeller. [ 221 ]


A killer whale swims alongside a whaling boat, with a smaller whale in between. Two men are standing, the harpooner in the bow and a steersman on the aft rudder, while four oarsmen are seated. The killer whale named Old Tom swims alongside a whaleboat, flanking a giant calf. The boat is being towed by a harpoon giant ( not visible here ), dear Eden, Australia. The earlier of known records of commercial hunt of killer whale date to the eighteenth hundred in Japan. During the 19th and early twentieth centuries, the ball-shaped whale industry caught huge numbers of whalebone and sperm whales, but largely neglect killer whale because of their specify amounts of recoverable petroleum, their smaller populations, and the trouble of taking them. once the stocks of larger species were depleted, orcas were targeted by commercial whalers in the mid-20th century. between 1954 and 1997, Japan took 1,178 killer whale ( although the Ministry of the Environment claims that there had been domestic catches of about 1,600 whales between belated 1940s to 1960s [ 222 ] ) and Norway took 987. extensive hunt of killer whale, including an antarctic catch of 916 in 1979–80 alone, prompted the International Whaling Commission to recommend a banish on commercial hunt of the species pending further research. today, no country carries out a solid hunt, although Indonesia and Greenland permit belittled subsistence hunts ( see Aboriginal whaling ). other than commercial hunts, orcas were hunted along japanese coasts out of populace business for likely conflicts with fisheries. such cases include a semi-resident male-female match in Akashi Strait and Harimanada being killed in the Seto Inland Sea in 1957, [ 224 ] [ 225 ] the kill of five whales from a pod of 11 members that swam into Tokyo Bay in 1970, [ 226 ] and a hitch commemorate in southern Taiwan in the 1990s. [ 74 ] [ 227 ]

cooperation with humans

Orcas have helped humans hunting early whales. [ 228 ] One well-known exercise was the killer whale of Eden, Australia, including the male known as Old Tom. Whalers more much considered them a pain, however, as killer whale would gather to scavenge kernel from the whalers ‘ hitch. [ 228 ] Some populations, such as in Alaska ‘s Prince William Sound, may have been reduced importantly by whalers shooting them in retaliation. [ 18 ]

whale watch

whale watching continues to increase in popularity, but may have some debatable impacts on killer whale. exposure to exhaust gases from large amounts of vessel traffic is causing concern for the overall health of the 75 remaining southerly nonmigratory killer whale ( SRKWs ) left as of early on 2019. [ 229 ] This population is followed by approximately 20 vessels for 12 hours a day during the months May–September. [ 230 ] Researchers discovered that these vessels are in the line of sight for these whales for 98–99.5 % of daylight hours. [ 230 ] With so many vessels, the breeze quality around these whales deteriorates and impacts their health. Air pollutants that bind with run down fumes are responsible for the energizing of the cytochrome P450 1A gene class. [ 230 ] Researchers have successfully identified this gene in clamber biopsies of survive whales and besides the lungs of dead person whales. A direct correlation coefficient between activation of this gene and the air pollutants can not be made because there are early know factors that will induce the like gene. Vessels can have either wet or dry exhaust systems, with besotted exhaust systems leaving more pollutants in the body of water due to versatile natural gas solubility. A modeling analyze determined that the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level ( LOAEL ) of exhaust pollutants was approximately 12 % of the human dose. [ 230 ] As a reply to this, in 2017 boats off the british Columbia coast nowadays have a minimum approach distance of 200 metres compared to the former 100 metres. This new predominate complements Washington State ‘s minimum approach zone of 180 metres that has been in consequence since 2011. If a whale approaches a vessel it must be placed in achromatic until the whale passes. The World Health Organization has set air quality standards in an effort to control the emissions produced by these vessels. [ 231 ]


The killer whale ‘s intelligence, trainability, striking appearance, fun in captivity and sheer size have made it a popular parade at aquaria and aquatic theme parks. From 1976 to 1997, 55 whales were taken from the fantastic in Iceland, 19 from Japan, and three from Argentina. These figures exclude animals that died during capture. live captures fell dramatically in the 1990s, and by 1999, approximately 40 % of the 48 animals on display in the populace were captive-born. Organizations such as World Animal Protection and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation campaign against the practice of keeping them in captivity. In enslavement, they often develop pathologies, such as the abaxial five flop seen in 60–90 % of captive males. Captives have vastly reduced life expectancies, on average lone living into their 20s. [ bel ] That said, a 2015 sketch coauthored by staff at SeaWorld and the Minnesota Zoo suggested no meaning remainder in survivorship between free-ranging and prisoner killer whale. [ 170 ] however, in the angry, females who survive infancy alive 46 years on average, and up to 70–80 years in rare cases. godforsaken males who survive infancy live 31 years on average, and up to 50–60 years. [ 233 ] Captivity normally bears short resemblance to wild habitat, and captive whales ‘ social groups are alien to those found in the hazardous. Critics claim captive life is nerve-racking due to these factors and the requirement to perform circus tricks that are not depart of fantastic orca behavior, see above. [ 234 ] Wild killer whale may travel up to 160 kilometres ( 100 michigan ) in a day, and critics say the animals are excessively big and intelligent to be desirable for captivity. [ 156 ] Captives occasionally act aggressively towards themselves, their tankmates, or humans, which critics say is a leave of stress. [ 209 ] Between 1991 and 2010, the bull’s eye killer whale known as Tilikum was involved in the death of three people, and was featured in the critically applaud 2013 movie Blackfish. [ 235 ] Tilikum lived at SeaWorld from 1992 until his death in 2017. [ 236 ] [ 237 ] In March 2016, SeaWorld announced that they would be ending their killer whale breed program and their theatrical shows. [ 238 ] As of 2020, theatrical shows featuring killer whale are hush ongoing. [ 239 ]

See besides

  1. ^ According to Baird, killer whales prefer harbor seals to sea lions and porpoises in some areas .
  2. ^ Although there are examples of killer whales living longer, including respective over 30 years old, and two captive killer whale ( Corky II and Lolita ) are in their mid-40s .


further reading