October 1, 2012
Orca- Greek God of the Underworld
There are very few animals that can compare to the top mammal of marine animals. The Orca or killer whale is the largest of the dolphin family; with the full name of Orcinus Orca; meaning Greek god of the underworld. They are whales with distinct black and white coloring and have teeth that can be up to 4 inches in length. Not only they one of the largest of the sea they are also the fastest of marine animals and can travel speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.
Orcas live in their own families or pods. There are three different types of Orcas species documented to date; resident, transient and offshore pods. The resident pods are separated geographically speaking and have been documented living spring, summer, and fall near the Washington coastline and have been spotted as far south as the Central California coastline. They have been spotted in the Puget Sound, Vancouver Island, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Southern Georgia Strait. While little is known about their movements; genetic data does suggest that these whales do not usually mingle with those from the other species. The Southern Resident Pod is currently on the endangered species list and is protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and a distinct species under the Endangered Species Act. There are 88 whales currently listed on the list for the resident whales that researchers have documented using the whales saddle patch’s as a signature to name and number each whale. All whales have a distinct marking behind their upper dorsal fin that in reference to humans would be like their own finger print; no two are alike. The resident pod is usually led by an older and wiser female whale and they usually stay together in large pods. They swim and hunt together. The male whales on average can grow up to 24 feet in length and weigh between 7 to 10 tons. They typically live up to 30 years but can live up to...