All about Orcas!!Orcas (Killer Whales) are super interesting! Here are our favourite facts!
The name killer whales is sometimes given to Orcas, but they are actually a type of dolphin. They are also one the most powerful and sucessful carnivourous (meat eating) predators on Earth. Read the rest of our facts, and make sure to play the fun game at the end!
Family life and hunting groups!
A group of Orcas is called a pod
Every pod has a different sound they make, so they can find each other if they get split up, even from far away.
Like other dolphins, they use echolocation, a sound made underwater that travels in a straight line, but when the soundwaves hit an object, they bounce back toward the Orca, who can then tell where it is, how big it is, and what shape it is. Echolocation is also used to communicate, so the other Orcas in the pod can decide where to hunt, what to do or where to go.
Orcas in captivity
Orcas are very social, and that makes them perfect for shows and preformances in zoos and marine parks, but people are starting to realise that they'd much rather be in the wild.
It is in Orcas' nature to swim very far and dive very deep every single day, but enclosures for Orcas in captivity cannot usually provide this big a space. The Orcas then begin to get stressed and bored. This is definately not good for them.
As we mentioned, Orcas are social and live in pods. The Orcas in these pods get to know each other very well, and are usually together since a very young age, and in some cases since birth, so even though they mightn't all share the same mother, within the pod, it's family. When an Orca is either taken from their family or born into captivity, they are put into a new family, a new pod, and usually this can be quite stressful for the Orca. To make things worse, they are often moved into many different enclosures, so even if they grew to love their new family, it would often be torn away from them again, and again. Imagine, being taken from your family one day, being put in a place far too small to be comfortable with an entirely new family, and then, just as you were getting a tiny bit comfortable, being taken away again, and the cycle would repeat for an indefinate amout of times.
Click here to start the game!Play the game, maybe time yourself and beat your highscores! Use the arrow keys to control the Orca. Catch that fish!
Have you ever seen an Orca? Have you ever been to a marine park that maybe did Orca shows? If you ever do, watch closely! Orcas in captivity tend to rock back an forward or sway from side to side. This type of behaviour is developed from stress or boredom.