Killer Whales or Orcas are one of the most fascinating yet dangerous creatures on the planet. Their distinct appearance makes them an easily identifiable marine creature and, at the same time, popular. However, there are still many orca facts that people don’t know about these apex predators of the ocean.
Did you know that orcas are one of the largest members of the family of dolphins? Amazing right? Also, did you know that their diet consists of small fishes, seals, and even sharks? Orcas are terrifyingly captivating in their way. If you are fond of them and are quite curious about these creatures, here’s the list of some surprising orca facts that you might not hear.
Top 20 Fun Facts About Orcas
Are you interested to know more about orca facts? Here are twenty fun facts about them.
They are believed to be Greedy
One of the orca facts that you do not know is about their attitude towards their food. Orcas can hunt down from the tiniest fish of the ocean to the large marine mammals of the sea. However, their diet is highly dependent on the season, some orcas prefer to eat on small fishes and squid, and some prefer large sea creatures such as walruses, seals, penguins, and even the biggest marine mammal on the planet, whales.
Even though they are known to be Killer Whales, they are not whales
The orca is a member of the dolphin family. They got their name because sailors and fishers found them preying on large whales back in the years.
Orcas are found everywhere
You can spot them in almost all the waters in the world. Killer whales are one of the most widely distributed sea creatures on the planet. And when you see them, just try to avoid getting near them.
Orcas love to be in a group
A group of orcas is called a pod. The number varies greatly from five to as many as fifty or even a hundred. Much like with other animal groups, orcas in pods also have a hierarchy.
They are among the fastest swimming marine mammals on the planet
Although they are known to cruise, they can gear up and go as fast as forty to fifty kilometers per hour. That’s how fast they are!
Almost half of their lives are spent looking for food
Although they aren’t known as migratory species, they often are willing to travel hundreds of miles looking for food.
They can always control their blood
One of the reasons why orcas can stay deep into the waters longer than most marine mammals is their ability to control the flow of their blood to their brain and heart.
They are one of the longest-living marine mammals on the planet
An orca’s average lifespan is around 50 to 80 years old, but in captivity, life expectancy is cut short due to various factors.
Orcas sleep with one eye open
Like with any other dolphins, they cannot sleep completely because they need to emerge from the water's surface to breathe. It means that when an orca is sleeping with the left eye open, that means the other side of the brain is functioning, and vice versa.
Orcas rely heavily on echolocation
This is because they don’t have part of their body intended for smelling. What they lack in smelling makes up for their impressive sense of sight and hearing. They are far more superior to dogs and bats when it comes to hearing.
Much like dolphins, orcas are one of the most intelligent marine mammals on the planet
Thanks to this ability, this makes them highly trainable and is often one of the fascinating shows in various oceanariums.
One of the most diverse diets
As mentioned, they can go from eating small fishes and crustaceans down to big creatures such as walruses, seals, sea lions, and even whales.
They often hunt in large packs like wolves. They are often seen hunting in packs in the Antarctic, luring their prey, and once cornered, it will be the meal for the rest of the day. In some instances, they are seen throwing themselves on ice to capture their sumptuous meal.
They grow as large as a school bus can weigh roughly about 6 tons!
That’s the result of hunting for food for half of their life.
Orcas live long
Orcas have a longer lifespan than most marine mammals, and they can live for up to 100 years! An average orcas lifespan barring any setbacks, is around 35 years up to 100 years.
Orcas are two times the charm
Orcas are highly social creatures; they rely on other orcas to provide their food or even care for their young. It is noted that some witnesses are testifying that adolescent female orcas are caring for someone’s young.
Males are relatively larger compared to females
Male orcas can grow as much as 8 meters, whereas female orcas can extend up to 7 meters.
Female orcas have a longer lifespan than male orcas
It is estimated that the average lifespan of a female orca is around 50 to 80 years old, whereas male orcas are 30 years to 50 years.
Orcas eat sharks
As scary as the great white sharks, orcas prey on them too! Although both are known as the Apex predators of the sea, great whites don’t prey on killer whales. It is also noted that killer whales hunt in packs and are relatively larger than your average, typical great whites.
A newborn killer whale can reach up to 9 feet long
It is also noted that the baby killer whale or calf remains with its mother for around two years.
Killer whales are some of the most interesting creatures on the planet. With the 20 fun orca facts, you would be surprised that some of these do exist. Furthermore, these marine creatures, just like everyone else, face different kinds of threats every day. If you want to protect and conserve them for the years to come, it is still not too late, and there are plenty of signs that we are leading in the right direction.
Join us with our mission to protect all marine life by supporting us here at ATOLEA Jewelry. With every purchase you made from our Ocean-inspired jewelry, part of the profit goes to Ocean conservation charities that we had been supporting.
So let's dive into our unique Sea-inspired jewelry now and start making a difference for the Ocean!