Killer Whale Information
Common Name: Killer Whale (Killer) Commonly called: Killer Clownfish (Clownfish) Scientific Name:Capsaris dioica (Capsaris Obtusifolia) Average Length Of A Killer Dolphin’s Body: approx. 25 yards.
Size comparative to a bus: Orcas are the second most powerful predatory species of the world and they are instantly recognizable by their highly distinctive black-and-yellow coloring. Also, unlike killer whales which have their head in the water, the dorsal fins of a true killer whale are tucked away behind the ears. They also lack flippers. Their greatest weapon, though, is their mouth which can crush most smaller fish like herrings.
A close relative of killer whales is the blue whale (Balaenoptera Balaenia). Their body shapes are nearly identical to that of killer whales but their snouts are quite different. Blue whales have large triangular structures on their back which are used as their dorsal fins. In addition to its dorsal fin, these triangle-shaped structures also contain organs and nerves which serve as a strong sense of smell. Although blue whales have evolved from ancient bottoms of the Pacific Ocean, modern sightings occur around Vancouver Island in Canada.
Dorsal fins of Echolocation Killer Whales differ slightly from those of killer whales. Orcas have prominent whisker-like structures on each side of their snout. The structure of their ears also differs from that of killer whales. In fact, the ear can rotate in a backward and an forward direction in response to the changing light conditions, much like a hearing aid.
Although killer whales and orcas are similar in many ways, there are differences in their physiology and behavior which lead to noticeable differences in the way they communicate with each other. Killer whales are known for their highly specialized lifestyle in terms of diet, behavior and habitat. Killer whales are only able to hunt certain types of prey in their natural habitat, whereas orcas only eat fish and other marine mammals. They live in calving grounds where they ambush their kill and eat it slowly, picking the brains of their victims before taking it into their mouths. They also feed at night when the sun is low, waiting for the fish to migrate into the calving grounds. In addition to eating their kill, they also pursue small fish, dolphins, crustaceans, squid and even other killer whales.
Killer whales are protected throughout most of the world. In most parts of their range, conservation programs are in place that attempt to reduce whale populations and increase numbers of marine mammals in the wild. This is done through breeding programs, culling, removal and avoidance of certain behaviours such as snaring or netting. There have been some signs of improvement in the recent years with decreases in poaching, but the need for conservation and protection of these magnificent creatures remains an ongoing priority in our planet’s marine life.