Background

Killer Whales are one of the most effective predators in the ocean. They live in groups (called pods) which generally consist of 5-6 individuals. These pods are able to co-ordinate attacks on a number of different prey animals.

Habitat

These animals are one of only a few mammal species that can be found across the world. They can be found in both hemispheres in any climate. They are most common in highly productive areas where cold water upwelling supports large populations of their prey.

Diet

Orcas have a varied diet, including; crustaceans, fish, squid, octopus, other dolphins, seals, penguins as well as whale calves. They have also been recorded attacking juvenile whales.

Predators & Threats

These animals are classified as apex predators, meaning that they have no natural predators. Orca like most dolphins and whales are affected both directly and indirectly by; whaling, noise and plastic pollution.

Facts

  • Killer whales are not actually whales, they are in fact the largest species of dolphin.
  • There are many different “sub-types”. Classification of these animals depends on their location and diet.
Common Name(s)Scientific Name
Killer Whale, Orca.Orcinus orca
Size
 Up to; 8.5m (females) – 10 m (males)
Lifespan
Females – 90 years

Males – 50 years

Best Time to Look

All year round.