The stages that make up the life cycle of a killer whale are baby, adolescent and adult. Males typically live for about 30 years, and females typically live about 50 years.
The baby stage runs from birth until the baby, known as a calf, is weaned. During this stage, the calf frequently nurses on the mother’s nutrient-rich milk and grows very rapidly. The adolescent stage runs from the moment the calf is weaned to when it reaches sexual maturity, the beginning of the adult stage. Male adolescent whales form bachelor pods and leave their original pod. Females may explore outside their pod but are more likely to return to their matriarchal pod or to their mother. In the adult stage, whales of both genders start searching for mates with whom to breed.