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on June 23, 2008

Killer whales are the largest member of the dolphin family. The most conspicuous external feature of this species is its tall dorsal fin, which can be seen from a great distance.

Killer Whale

Design

Killer whales live in groups called pods. Sometimes the members of the pod will hunt together, surrounding large prey and forcing it into a smaller area before attacking. This hunting technique was likely not part of the original whale kind at creation since all animals were vegetarian until after the Fall of man.

Features

  • The killer whale is easily recognized by its black body, white lower jaw and belly, and white patch directly behind the eye.
  • Killer whales are the largest member of the dolphin family.
  • The most conspicuous external feature of this species is its tall dorsal fin, which can be seen from a great distance.

Fun Facts

  • A newborn killer whale calf averages 8 ft (2.4 m) in length and weighs 300–400 lbs (135–180 kg).
  • The largest male killer whale known weighed 22,000 lbs (10,000 kg).
  • The killer whale is the fastest swimming mammal, attaining speeds up to 30 mph (48 km/h).
  • Killer whales survive long periods of time in captivity, and they are easily trained to perform awe-inspiring feats.

CLASS: Mammalia (mammals)

ORDER: Cetacea (dolphins, porpoises, and whales)

FAMILY: Delphinidae (dolphins, killer whales, pilot whales, and relatives)

GENUS/SPECIES: Orcinus orca

Size: Male 19–30 ft (5.8–9.5 m); female 16–22 ft (4.9–7 m)

Weight: Male 8,000–16,000 lbs (3,600–7,300 kg);

female 3,000–8,000 lbs (1,400–3,600 kg)

Diet: Fish, marine mammals, sea turtles, and birds

Habitat: Worldwide distribution, but more common in the colder regions of the Arctic and Antarctic