Orcinus orca or Orca
- The killer whale is the largest dolphin; a shiny,
black creature with white patches above and behind each
eye, on the chin and throat extending along the belly.
The body is robust and powerful with a blunt, round
head and slight beak. The male averages 27 feet and
weighs up to 11 tons; the female 23 feet, 8 tons.
- This whale is found from the Sea of Cortez to Kodiak
Island. It is common in the Puget Sound and northeast
- The orca is an extremely fast swimmer, exceeding speeds
of 30 mph, it spyhops and breaches often, making it
a wonder for whale watchers. Its blow is up to 10 feet
high and often has a loud, explosive sound. This intelligent
creature remains in a family pod of 5 to 20 for all
of its life. They will eat anything that swims or floats
(except humans) including seabirds, turtles, other cetaceans
(including great whales), seals, sea lions, all types
of fish and squid. The female has a gestation period
of 15 months and calves at intervals of 3 years. The
orca has 3 basic sound types including a click, whistle
and a scream. A population of 260 killer whales frequent
the waters off of B.C.; they are listed as not threatened
but reduced salmon stocks may be affecting the growth
of northwest populations.