There probably isn’t one person out there who would say they’ve seen that iconic white and black finned creature and say they haven’t been moved. That’s because killer whales are more than just cute, magical creatures - their power and importance in the ecosystem is unmatched. They are apex predators, and actually dolphins - but their fierce ability to kill whales is how they earned their name. Here are 5 reasons why killer whales are some of the most amazing creatures alive!
Killer Whales are Empathetic
According to a killer whale’s brain, they might even be more empathetic than humans. A killer whale once carried around their dead calf for 17 days in mourning.
Killer Whales can live up to around 80 years old
Killer whales live long lives, like you and me. The oldest recorded female orca potentially lived to the ripe old age of 105 (age unclear)
Killer Whales Can Eat Sharks
The Offshore Killer whales had one mysterious clue hidden in their jaws -worn down teeth. Scientists soon realized their teeth were being worn down by the sandpappery skin of their prey - sharks!
There are 10 Different Species of Killer Whales
It’s a common misconception that there is only one type of Killer Whale. The whales are so different in fact, they don’t even eat the same prey! Before scientists realized there were different species, a marine mammal eating species of whale in captivity refused to eat the fish scientists fed it because it was not their diet - the whale would rather starve. The 10 different species swim in different oceans, eat different foods and even speak different languages!
Killer Whales Have Names
The Southern Resident Killer Whales that swim along the BC coast all have names, just like you and me. Their declining population (73, down from 76 earlier this summer) has led scientists to keep a close eye on them. Pollution, prey availability (chinook salmon) and boats have all led to their endangered status.
Don’t worry - you can help.
Adopt a whale: www.killerwhale.org
Citizen Science: report and take photos of a killer whale if you see one: WhaleReport app
Farmed salmon is greatly endangering wild salmon: Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood
Participate in your local beach clean up
Find your local MP and write to them
Let’s do everything we can to help our finned friends out!
Team Ripple Coast