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Killer Whale
   
   

Order : CETARTIODACTYLA
Infraorder : Cetacea
Family : Delphinidae
Species : Orcinus orca

Total Length : males up to 9.5m, females up to 7.0m.
Weight : males generally greater than 6 tonnes, females up to 4 tonnes.

With its striking black and white patterning and high, triangular dorsal fin the renowned Killer Whale or Orca is in many ways a unique, iconic species. Despite the name, this species of 'whale' is more closely related to far smaller dolphins and porpoises and is considered as a member of the Delphinidae family.

Full-grown males of the species may grow to 9.5 metres and females to 7 metres. Body colour in both males and species is overall black with white areas on the cheek, throat and ventral surface.

The species has a varied diet depending on geographical location : this includes various large fish species and other marine mammals. Pods of Killer Whales may comprise many tens of individuals.

Killer Whales are distributed worldwide, but have higher populations in temperate or cold polar waters. In tropical Southeast Asia sightings of transient groups are seen in waters around the Indonesian archipelago and the South China Sea.


Fig 1 : Adult Killer Whale in the northeast Pacific Ocean.

Fig 2 : Juvenile with parent.

Fig 3 : Killer Whales can exhibit playfulness in the same manner as other dolphins.

All photos thanks to Bruce Paterson


References : M2, M5

 

Fig 1
 
ゥ  Bruce Paterson
Fig 2
 
ゥ  Bruce Paterson
Fig 3
 
ゥ  Bruce Paterson