Orcas are also known as killer whales, and they belong to the dolphin family. Unlike other dolphins, orcas have a distinct black and white appearance, with a white body and eyespots located above the actual eyes. This coloring serves as camouflage so that it can hunt without being seen.Continue Reading
An orca's average size is between 23 and 32 feet long. A large orca can weigh up to 6 tons. Its dorsal fin, the large fin on an orca's back, can grow up to 6 feet tall. Orcas are mammals, which means that they are warm-blooded, breathe air and give birth to live young.
Orcas are intelligent and have brains larger than those of all other mammals except the sperm whale. They are social animals and live in groups called pods. These pods are filled with family members, such as parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters. There are up to four generations of killer whales in one pod.
Orcas use echolocation, or the use of bouncing sound or sonar off of objects, to help them locate animals and objects underwater. They communicate with each other using a series of whistles and clicks to share feelings, communicate danger, find prey and act playfully.Learn more about Marine Mammals