Creature Spotlight of the Week- OrcaBY EARTHFIRST
The killer whale which is commonly referred to as the orca is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family. Killer whales are found in all oceans, from the freezing Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas. Killer whales as a species have a diverse diet they feed on fish and also marine mammals such as sea lions, seals, walruses and even large whales.
Killer whales are highly social sea mammals that have powerful hunting skills, which enable them to kill sea creatures that are much larger than they are. This is partly where their name originated.
Many people believe that orcas should not be held in captivity. In aquariums, orcas tend to live for about 13 years, compared to those in the wild who live 40 to 60 years.
The IUCN has assessed the Orca's conservation status and they are not currently listed as a threatened species, however their numbers have declined over the years due to a variety of reasons including declining food stocks, habitat loss, pollution (by PCBs), capture for marine mammal parks, and conflicts with fisheries.
For more info visit the WWF