Are Killer Whales Really Whales?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 10 May 2020
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Also known as orcas, killer whales are not really whales at all. Killer whales are members of the dolphin family known as Cetacea. Considered the largest of all dolphins, killer whales are known to feed many types of marine life, including sea lions, seals and whales. Seabirds, squid and various types of fish also are parts of the orca’s diet. The teeth of the killer whale are 4 inches (10 cm) long and sharp enough to grab onto prey so that the orca can drag it into deeper water.

More facts about killer whales:

  • Killer whales are capable of remaining under water for only a certain amount of time, then must surface to breathe.

  • When it comes to the daily diet, the average killer whale will consume enough prey to equal about 5 percent of its body weight.

  • Killer whales live in groups that are known as pods. A pod typically includes six to 40 whales.

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