Killer Whale Kids' Corner
being built!!
by eric poncelet

Table of contents

What's a killer whale or an orca? (click)

Where do they live? (click)

What do they eat? (soon)

How do they communicate? (soon)

-What's a killer whale or orca whale? table of contents

Killer whales are the largest and heaviest dolphins of the world. The largest killer whale observed was 9.80 meters long for 9,000 kilograms! (it was a male)

Adult males and females are quiet different:

Adult males
Adult females
Mean size
About 8 m long
About 7 m long
Dorsal fin
Straight and until 1.80 m high
Falcate (curved backward) and no more than 90 cm high
Pectoral flippers
Until 2 m long and 1 m broad
Until 2 times smaller than males' ones

Adults are black and white, but young killer whales are black and yellowish!

Killer whales and dolphins in general have no leg but a tail which aims at swimming. Their ancesters' arms became foreflippers. Adults have no hair and their skin is very soft.

Their nose is not just above the mouth but at the top of their head! Indeed, killer whales and whales in general are not fishes, they are mammals just like you!

This means that they can not breathe under the water and have to come regularly to the surface to breathe some air.

They give birth to babies (generally one per pregnancy) who look like very small adults (about 2.40 m long for 150 kilograms) and feed with the milk that their mother give them thanks to two teats (see the picture to the right showing a baby suckling).

-Where do they live? table of contents

Killer whales live in all oceans of the world. They can be found from Arctic to Antarctic. For example, you could encounter orcas in British Columbia, California, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Norway, Iceland, ...


to be followed...

comments, questions are welcome!

Part of the Killer Whale Biology web site at