From: Kim Marshall (kimm@oceanalliance.org)
Date: Wed Feb 05 2003 - 19:06:25 EST

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    > hello,
    > I am having a BIG problem, I am doing a project on Orca Whales. I can not fin
    > anywhere on the internet how they get rid of their waste. Can u please write
    > back and explain this process to me.
    > Thank You,
    > Christina
    Dear Christina,
    Please search WhaleNet at http://whale.wheelock.edu for information about
    orcas. If you donΉt find the specific information you are looking for
    contact me again. I have listed some general information for you below.
    Good luck!

    … Live throughout the world, only hampered by ice (limitation to air) and
    lack of food
    … Males grow to approx. 8.2 m, max 9.8 m. Females generally grow to 7 m,
    with a max of 8.5
    … Mature males, dorsal fin can grow up to 1.8 m
    … Females dorsal fin modestly falcate and less than 1 m tall
    … Flippers are shaped like broad rounded paddles
    … Pregnancy lasts about 17 months
    … Captive calf mouthed solid food at 3 months, ate some at 5 months and ate
    at the adult rate of 5% body weight at 9 months. May have continued nursing
    for up to 15 months.
    … Sexual maturity. Males 5.2 to 6.2 m long, and a growth spurt occurs at
    this time. Females 4.6 to 5.4 m long.
    … 4-5% annual birthrate. Calving intervals 3 to 8 years, may be on the
    higher end depending on density of the particular pods
    … Carnivorous and opportunistic feeders, diets differ seasonally and
    regionally. Seems to be no marine animal safe from attack. They attack
    other cetaceans, pinniped, penguins and other sea birds, sea turtles, many
    kinds of fish (esp. herring and salmon) and even their own
    … Pod size can measure from 1 to 100 or more animals, but group of 5 to 20
    are more common
    … It is thought that killer whales remain with their motherΉs pod, until the
    matriarch dies, and then the pod may split as the other females become more
    … Commercial whalers generally do not directly go after killer whales. They
    may catch them while in the pursuit of larger animals. Norway has the most
    documented kills. They believe that killing the whales will help raise the
    fish stock
    … Newborns 2.1 to 2.4 m long and about 180 kg
    … Calves, white areas are more tan or brown
    … There are a few all black and all white killer whales that have been seen
    … Most calves are born in autumn
    … 10-12 teeth per side of each jaw (40-48 teeth)

    Kim Marshall
    Executive Director
    Ocean Alliance (Whale Conservation Inst. & the Voyage of the Odyssey)
    191 Weston Road, Lincoln, MA 01773
    781.259.0423 ext. 14 fax 259.0288
    www.oceanalliance.org www.pbs.org/odyssey
    Please support our efforts to conserve whales and their ocean environment
    through research and education :)

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