82 Dolphins Die in Mysterious Mass Stranding loading...
82 Dolphins Die in Mysterious Mass Stranding
Researchers don’t yet know what caused the animals to beach themselves.
Why Tilikum, SeaWorld's Killer Orca, Was Infamous loading...
Why Tilikum, SeaWorld's Killer Orca, Was Infamous
The killer whale that drowned three people inspired a movement to end captivity. He died in Orlando last week.
Controversial SeaWorld Orca Shows End in California, but Continue Elsewhere loading...
Controversial SeaWorld Orca Shows End in California, but Continue Elsewhere
The company is phasing out its killer whale entertainment shows in response to a new law and pressure from the public, though the change is gradual.
World's Oldest Known Orca Presumed Dead loading...
World's Oldest Known Orca Presumed Dead
J2, the killer whale known as Granny, avoided being sold to a marine park in the 1960s and went on to lead a pod of orcas for another half century.
Orca Killed by Satellite Tag Leads to Criticism of Science Practices loading...
Orca Killed by Satellite Tag Leads to Criticism of Science Practices
The death of a rare killer whale in the Pacific Northwest has been linked to a tagging effort, causing an outcry and re-evaluation by the science community.
SeaWorld U.S. to End Controversial Orca Shows and Breeding loading...
SeaWorld U.S. to End Controversial Orca Shows and Breeding
The entertainment company has yielded to intense pressure from animal activists.
About Killer Whale

Orcas, or killer whales, are the largest of the dolphins and one of the world's most powerful predators. They feast on marine mammals such as seals, sea lions, and even whales, employing teeth that can be four inches long. They are known to grab seals right off the ice. They also eat fish, squid, and seabirds.

Orcas hunt in deadly pods, family groups of up to 40 individuals. There appear to be both resident and transient pod populations of orcas. These different groups may prey on different animals and use different techniques to catch them. Resident pods tend to prefer fish, while transient pods target marine mammals. All pods use effective, cooperative hunting techniques that some liken to the behavior of wolf packs.

Fast Facts 

Common Name: Orca (Killer Whale)

Scientific Name: Orcinus orca

Type: Mammals

Diet: Carnivores

Group Name: Pod

Average life span in the wild: 50 to 80 years

Size: 23 to 32 ft

Weight: Up to 6 tons

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