Killer Whale
Range Worldwide
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Cetacea
Family Delphinidae
Genus Orcinus
Species Orcinus orca
Conservation Status
Data Deficient
The Killer Whale is a species from the Choeropsis genus. Killer whales are found in all oceans, from the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas. It is also known as an orca.


Killer whales are black or deep brown overall with striking white patches above their eyes and from the lower jaw to the belly and a fainter grayish- white saddle patch just under the dorsal fin. (The dorsal fin is the fin that sticks up from their back). But juvenile killer whales are black and soft yellow instead of black and white. The killer whale's flippers are large and oval. Males can measure up to 30 feet long. A male can wiegh up to 11,000 pounds. A killer whale's tail is made up of two parts called fuikeses. Killer whales have a row of white sharp teeth. Each tooth curves back a little. Ju


Killer whales live in groups.

On the west coast of North America, scientists have identified three distinct killer whale populations - Residents, Transients, and Offshores. The resident population is comprised of groups of genetically related clans or extended family groups of Orcas. These clans have established territories and fairly predictable patterns of movement within those territories. They travel in pods and sub-pods, often groups of up to 20 whales or more with individuals scattered over a wide area. Resident pods permanently inhabit a particular area that may cover over 800 sq km (308 sq mi). Transient pods do not have a permanent territory and sometimes swim more than 1,000 km (600 mi) in two or three days. They swim in small groups of two to five or six, usually in close physical proximity. Researchers have recently had several encounters with the third known west coast orca population, currently labeled the "Offshores". These whales have been encountered primarily in the open ocean, and in large groups of 30 to 60.

Killer whales communicate with each other primarily by sound, emitting clicks, squeaks, and whistles. Each pod uses a unique group of calls, called a dialect. The animals also communicate with each other by slapping their flippers and flukes on the water. They use touch to communicate as well. Sometimes after aggressive play or fighting among a group of killer whales, one killer whale will pat another killer whale with its fin. Scientists believe this action expresses reconciliation.

Killer whales regularly exhibit such behaviors as spy-hopping (hanging vertically in the water with the head partially above water) and breaching (jumping clear of the water and landing on the back or side). Scientists theorize that these behaviors may be displays of dominance used in courtship or they may enable the killer whales to view their surrounding area.


Killer whales eat many things. These are some of the things they eat: Polar Bears, penguins, krill, porpises, seabirds, squid, fish, cod, seaotters, hake, halibut, marine animals, marine birds, walruses, seals, sea lions, dolphins, and other whales. Whenever killer whales get hungry they send out some clicks and clacks and if they get an echo they know there is something ahead. Needs Information...


  • Killer WhaleGo to A killer whale.
  • Killer Whale jumping


  • Some of the world's first people drew pictures of killer whales.
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