Killer Whales

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Leana Timoteo
Zoology 101 Lab
11/26/12
Killer Whales
The killer whales also referred to as the blackfish belongs to the oceanic dolphins family. They are one of the biggest dolphins in the dolphin family. Killer whales can reach up to 9 feet and can weight up to 7,257 pounds. The Spanish call them the Ballena Asesina because they are so powerful and are known for killing other whales and hunting in groups earning the title Wolves of the Sea. They are seen traveling in pods between 3-25 whales. In each pod they all have a strong bond with each other. Killer whales establish dominance and communicated their social order by slapping their tails against the water, jaw snapping, raking, or biting. Like other mammals the killer whale is warm blooded, air breathing mammal. They are the top-level marine carnivores and opportunistic feeders. They prey on dolphins, seals, fishes, sea lions, walruses, penguins, and other whales. Killer whales inhabit all oceans around the world from the coldest to tropical oceans, but mostly found in the Arctic and Antarctica. There have even been sightings in Hawaii and the Bahamas. The killer whales diets varies from what region they are at for example if a killer whale was in the Antarctica it would eat 67% more fish and if it were in the marines then it would eat 27% of fish. Each whale needs to consume about 4% of its body weight each day. Baby killer whales can even eat 10% of their body weight during the growth periods. Studies have shown that female orcas become sexually mature when they are around six to ten years old. Male orcas become sexually mature when they are about ten to thirteen years old. Mating usually occurs in the summer and they usually carry an unborn baby for about seventeen months, which means a female may bear a calf every three to five years. Calves usually are born tails first in the water weighing up to 136-181 kg. Calves develop very quickly because the mother’s milk is very rich making the blubber on the...
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