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Australian Wildlife

  Killer Whale (Orcinus orca)





Killer Whale | Orcinus orca photo
Killer Whale

Image by Alex Jane - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



KILLER WHALE FACTS

Description
The Killer Whale is the largest member of the dolphin family. It ids mostly black above and white underneath. The back and pectoral flippers are black, except for the gray saddle area located just behind the dorsal fin. The underside is mostly white. The undersides of the tail flukes are fringed with black. There is white patch above and slightly behind each eye. Males are larger and have taller more pointed dorsal fin.

Size
Length: males up to 9m; females up to 7.7m

Habitat
open ocean, they approach the shore when attracted by food sources.

Food
Fish and squid. Some populations feed on marine mammals, including sea lions, seals

Breeding
A single calf is born after a gestation period of about 12 months. The young are about 2m long at birth.

Range
All oceans. Most common in Arctic and Antarctic waters.

Conservation Status
The conservation status in the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals is "lower risk/conservation dependent".

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Cetacea
Family:Delphinidae
Genus:Orcinus
Species:orca
Common Name:Killer Whale