Killer Whales


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All about the Killer Whales (Orcinus Orca) and more. Endangered species.

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Killer Whales

  1. 1. Killer Whales ( Orcinus Orca ) By: Ramsha Almas
  2. 2. General Description <ul><li>Largest member of the dolphin family </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly black with striking white patches above the eye, and below the lower jaw to the belly </li></ul><ul><li>Transient and resident whales have slightly different dorsal fins and saddle patches </li></ul><ul><li>Average life expectancy : M : 30 yrs, F : 50 yrs </li></ul><ul><li>Resident populations cover area of hundreds of square kms </li></ul><ul><li>Transient populations often move through an area rapidly </li></ul>
  3. 4. Scientific Classification <ul><li>Kingdom: A nimalia </li></ul><ul><li>Phylum: C hordata </li></ul><ul><li>Class: M ammalia </li></ul><ul><li>Order: C etacea </li></ul><ul><li>Family: D elphinidae </li></ul><ul><li>Genus: O rcinus </li></ul><ul><li>Species: O rca </li></ul>Photo by Lance Barrett-Lennard and Kathy Heise courtesy of
  4. 5. Habitat <ul><li>Travel in pods (groups) of 2-50, or can be solitary </li></ul><ul><li>Found in all oceans </li></ul><ul><li>Not limited by Habitat considerations (depth, temperature, salinity) </li></ul><ul><li>Prefer coastal to temperate waters; prominent away from the tropics </li></ul><ul><li>Can be found deep in the ocean, or near shore </li></ul>
  5. 6. Feeding Habits <ul><li>Most feed on fish, squid, marine birds, seals, porpoises, and other cetaceans </li></ul><ul><li>Generally cooperate during hunting </li></ul><ul><li>Have specialized feeding habits </li></ul><ul><li>Each jaw contains 11 sharp conical teeth ideal for tearing prey </li></ul><ul><li>Top carnivores in the marine food pyramid </li></ul>
  6. 7. Distribution of Species The Pacific Ocean range is located around south Vancouver Island David E Myers/Tony Stone Images Killer Whale Family David E Myers/Tony Stone Images Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2002. Map courtesy of !This map only depicts the resident range!
  7. 8. Video courtesy of Johnny & Carmela Hinds; HQTV <>
  8. 9. Threat Factors <ul><li>Prey reduced due to human fishing activity (whaling, culling, live capture </li></ul><ul><li>Low potential rate growth </li></ul><ul><li>Increase in toxic chemicals in habitat (polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) ) which harm and pollute immune systems </li></ul><ul><li>Accidents with vessels more inevitable </li></ul><ul><li>Exposure to oil spills </li></ul>
  9. 10. Recovery <ul><li>In Canada: </li></ul><ul><li>Fisheries and Oceans Canada </li></ul><ul><li>Protected in Canada under the “Species at Risk Act” </li></ul><ul><li>Killer Whale Recovery Team </li></ul><ul><li>Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora </li></ul><ul><li>Plans approved, but no action plans yet taken </li></ul>
  10. 11. Did You Know? <ul><li>Known to prey on the blue whale </li></ul><ul><li>Natal pods have been known to stay stable for life </li></ul><ul><li>Orcas seek mates outside of their original pods to prevent inbreeding </li></ul><ul><li>Important in Native American mythology </li></ul><ul><li>Implied to be in competition with human fishing activity </li></ul><ul><li>Are very easily trained to perform or act as show animals </li></ul><ul><li>Use echolocation to perceive surroundings </li></ul>
  11. 12. Bibliography <ul><li>Barfield, A.W.F. The Mammals of Canada . Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974 s.v. ‘Orcinus Orca’ </li></ul><ul><li>Wursig, Bernd G. Encarta Encyclopaedia. 2002 edition. s.v. ‘Killer Whales’ </li></ul><ul><li>Unknown. “Killer Whales”. Wild Whales. 02.09.06.< http://www. wildwhales . org / killerwhale / history .html > </li></ul><ul><li>Unknown. “Orca-Killer Whale”. Marine Mammal Center. 02.09.06.< </li></ul><ul><li>Unknown. “Killer Whale”. Species At Risk. 02.09.06. <> </li></ul>Thank you to Office.Microsoft.Com for the Design Template