Killer whales in marine biology term paper

Shark Assault, Noise Pollution, Underwater Pollution, White Noise

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The following is a brief overview of the biological category, diet, distribution and sociable behavior of the mammalian orcinus orca. Your research also sets out the factors that are accountable for the fall in orcinus orca population around the world today. Special emphasis has been given to resident orcinus orca to demystify the idea that orcas are fatal to the anglers and hence needs to be targeted for hunting.

Orcinus orca, commonly known as the great whale, is a top ttacker marine mammal. Orcas are very social animals and stay in pods. During the past 30 years extensive research has recently been conducted pertaining to the kinds regarding behavioral ecology, inherited genes, population monitoring, behavioral studies and traditional research. A lot of that studies have been dedicated to the study of citizen orcas. In recent times there has been a sharp decline in the numbers of homeowner orcas. Inside the following research the author describes the various concerns relating to the main cause of the fall have been suggested, some of them happen to be declining fish populations, yacht traffic, dangerous exposure and underwater sound. The investigator will also show the misconception that killer whales are safe to humans.



Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Subphylum: Vertebrata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Fish (all whales, dolphins and porpoises)

Suborder: Odontoceti (all toothed whales)

Family: Delphinidae (all sea dolphins)

Genus: Orcinus

Types: orca (“British Columbia Fantastic Whale Re-homing Program” 2004)


After humans, killer whales are definitely the most widely sent out mammals on the planet. Although they are normally found in all oceans, they choose colder areas especially the extremely areas and are also most abundant in Antarctica, Northern Japan, Iceland, Norwegian, Alaska and the Pacific Coast of The united states. The largest human population is approximated to be 160000 in Antarctica. A lot of researches on orcas have been completely conducted inside the British Columbia and Southeastern Ak. Two types of orcas are located in these areas the homeowner and transient. These two change in terms of morphology, habitat, diet plan and vocal patterns. The resident orcas are additional divided into Upper and The southern part of clans.

Transients and residents have been located along the western coast of North America via Southeast Ak to Washington dc. Off shore orcas had been encountered far from the seacoast line in the West Seacoast of Vancouver Island to Los Angeles.

Strength Details

The killer whale or the ‘wolf of the sea’ is the most significant member of the dolphin family members Delphinidae. The orcas may be distinguished by their distinct dark skin and white habits and their significant dorsal bout. The mature male grows up to 9m (10, 1000 kg), the female 7m (7, 500 kg) while the leg or teen is installment payments on your 5m (200 kg). The average life expectancy of females is definitely longer than that of the male; 50 to 90 years for females compared to 30 to 60 years for males. (“British Columbia Killer Whale Adoption Program” 2004) The key difference between the male orca and female orca is the difference long, weight and structure of the dorsal fin. The hinten fin of the male is definitely longer and more up correct than that of the female which will slightly bends backwards. The male dorsal b can increase up to 2m and the girl 1m. It is difficult to determine the sex of the child since the dorsal fin of the calf is very similar to the dorsal fin from the female (Lacey, Hughes and Miller 2000)

The fantastic whale includes a stocky human body with spectrum of ankle tail fins, a curved head, huge flappers or pectoral bout and a sickle molded triangular hinten fin. The dorsal fin is more directed and on the inside positioned in a transient great whale. The vertical activity of the symmetrical tail bout and the pectoral fins can easily propel a killer whale to a optimum speed of 45 km/hr. The average touring speed of the killer whale is 5 to 8 km / hr. The high and short broken of acceleration is very effective throughout the act of catching food.

The monster whale offers very serious senses of sight and hearing and they respond well to contact. A distinctive light patch is found over the eye and ears of a fantastic whale. The large teeth from the killer whale are cone-shaped, enameled and interlocking. No greater than 26 pairs or 52 teeth are within an adult. To facilitate hunting the teeth will be bent inwards and backwards. The blow hole is found near the top of your head. The orcas breathe atmosphere at the surface of the water through this kind of nostril and emit a minimal misty column of normal water. Killer whales usually stick to the surface of water given that they have to breathe in air nevertheless they do dance, the blow hole can be locked by simply nasal attaches which are operated with quickly acting muscles. The great whale may dive down up to 90 meters and transient orcas can stay underwater to get 5 to 15 minutes although the citizens can stay below intended for only 5 minutes. (“The (Orca) Great Whale” 2004)

For hunting purposes it is necessary for the killer whale to be as camouflaged as possible. Their black upper epidermis and light lower pores and skin help them to be inconspicuous. Seen from above, the black epidermis blends with water and viewed from below and underwater, the white skin remains no difference from the mild surface drinking water.

Diet few decades ago there was a misconception about monster whales, and fishermen used to kill these people on view. The fantastic whale is never known to attack humans. It really is true the killer whale is at the best of the meals chain inside the marine world and its foods include fishes, seals, squids and whales. Resident great whales mostly feed on these people own in like trout and squids, it has not established that birds will be one of their diet things. It is presumed that the transient killer whales are more opportunistic hunters feeding on any kind of mammal they will find. (“British Columbia Monster Whale Ownership Program” 2004)Transient killer whales are also even more silent , nor involve themselves into very much playful activities which truly helps them in hunting and taking the prey abruptly. Transient monster whales generally hunt mammals which have the ears. Off coast killer whales feed on educational institutions of fish. (“British Columbia Killer Whale Adoption Program” 2004)These orcas have more grazes and scaring on their fins suggesting that sharks might be included in all their diet.

Citizens hunt in larger groups or pods whereas the transient fantastic whales hunt in smaller groups. Each of the members of the group may work and hunt together. Usually the resident fantastic whale might emit sounds to locate food, the sound could bounce back coming from objects or prey thus the great whale could locate their prey. This technique is known as echolocation. Transient monster whales at times play with the pray simply by slapping that and putting it surrounding this time. Often the bounty is shared by most members of the group.

Social Habit

Whales you don’t have marked areas and belong at any place in which they are. The pod is the primary sociable structure with the killer whale and each orca belongs to a pod for lifetime. These pods develop distinctive dialects and vocal sounds. This unique pattern of vocalization assists them identify a member via non-member.

The structure in the pod is matriarchal. A pod consist of many matrilines in which the females move around with the offspring. The newborn calf is usually nurtured by mother until the calf reaches teenage life which is usually 15 years. The connection is not broken if the mother drops dead.

Transient monster whales display a more changing social structure in which the guy may leave a pod upon maturity and sign up for another group or he may hunt being a loner. Transient pods are smaller (1 to 7) than homeowner pods (5 to 25) and sometimes several resident pods may incorporate to form very pods of 150 whales. (“The (Orca) Killer Whale” 2004)Killer whales do not migrate seasonally but they do travel and leisure long miles with their individual pods searching for foodstuff.

Killer Whales exhibit several social and playful pursuits like diving, breaching, spy hopping and tail slaps. Fortunately they are kept in large aquariums for circus show and entertainment purposes.


It has been determined that the transitive and citizen killer whales have no direct lineages and there is also simply no apparent interbreeding between the two. Similar results are found in the case of north and the southern area of killer whales. Killer whales do not interbreed within their individual pods and matrilines. Matching does arise outside pods. (“British Columbia Killer Whale Adoption Program” 2004)

Concerns Affecting the Recent Decrease in Orca Numbers

Decrease in fish populations

Over fishing and degradation of the fish environment has decreased the fish populations in oceans. Resident killer whales have been shown to feed mainly on salmon (90%) and today salmon seafood are very scarce. (“Issues Influencing the Southern Resident Orcas” 2004)This may well compel homeowner orcas to change their standard patterns of motion

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