Subject: Killer Whale

Peter Scheifele (
Fri, 30 Jan 1998 15:55:27 -0500

Dear SS10S
        Much of the information you ask for is very general and can be
easily found in field guides or books such as the Sierra Club Hand book of
Marine Mammals or at the WhaleNet web site.  Here are some answers that I
hope will help:

1.    Life Span (Orcinus orca)  about 34 years

2.    Population  in the thousands,  they are all over the globe so its hard
to estimate total populations

3.    The animal is black with white belly and eye patches, has a dorsal fin
which is shaped as an isosceles triangle in males and a rounded shape in
females, weight is about 180 kg and length of full-grown males around 30
feet with females slightly smaller, gestation lasts 1 year

4.     Killer whales hunt a lot like wolves, in packs and in a
well-coordinated fashion.  They are highly social and very vocal.

5.     They are top-end predators who will eat nearly anything.  There are
no real documented cases of Orcas attacking humans however, one tried to
beach itself in an effort to eat a german shepard dog years ago.

I hope this helps!
Good Luck
At 10:31 PM 1/29/98 EST, you wrote:
>I am working on a report and I am having some trouble finding these answers to
>these questions, could you please help me, thanks.
>1) What is the life span of the Killer Whale?
>2) What is the population of Killer Whales?
>3) What are some physical characteristics of the Killer Whale?
>4) What are the hunting habits of the Killer Whale?
>5) And any other info. that would be interesting to add to my report.
>If you you could please help me with this I would really appreciate it,
Peter M. Scheifele
National Undersea Research Center
University of Connecticut
Bioacoustic Research
1084 Shennecossett Road
Groton,  CT  06340-6097
Voice:  (860) 405-9103
FAX:  (860) 445-2969