Killer Whales Essay

1818 words - 7 pages

Killer Whales
*Missing Works Cited*

Whales are giant creatures that live in the sea. They look like fish, but are not. Whales belong to the group of animals called mammals. Whales belong to the group of mammals called cetaceans, which comes from a Latin word meaning large sea animal.
There are two major groups of whales. The first group is mysticeti (baleen whales), and the other isodontoceti (toothed whales). In the group odontoceti, there is a family of whales called delphinidae (dolphins and small toothed whales). In this report, I will focus on a species of whale that comes from this family, and that species is the killer whale, or also known as orcinus orca, or just orca. The largest and most striking of the dolphin family, the killer whale is one of the most fearsome predators of the deep.
Killer whales are basically the same shape as fish, but they differ in many ways. One of the most obvious differences is the tail fin. Fish have vertical tail fins, while whales have horizontal tail fins. One of the most distinctive features of orcas is the tall, wide dorsal fin located on its back. In females, the dorsal fin can grow to about 2 feet high. It is falcate (hooked or curved). In males, the dorsal fin is triangular in shape and can grow up to about 6 feet high. Another distinctive feature of killer whales is that they possess a sleek, black and white pigmentation pattern. A white patch is located above and behind the eye. An extensive white ventral patch extends onto the flanks (sides). "There is a gray saddle behind the dorsal fin, which is black at birth." (Hoyt, Pg. 32)
At birth, orcas are about 2.1 to 2.4 meters long and weigh about 180 kilograms. When they are adults, males grow to about 9.5 meters long weighing 8 tons or more. Females grow to 8.2 meters long and weigh 4-6 tons. "Orcas have robust and graceful bodies with a conical or rounded head." (Hoyt, Pg. 97) It has no distinct beak. They have straight mouthlines. Another physical attribute of killer whales, besides having a tall dorsal fin, is that killer whales have large, paddle-shaped flippers. These flippers are 2-3 times larger in males than they are in females.
Killer whales are very large physical specimens. Being known as a fearsome hunter with killer instinct, it would be interesting to know what a killer whale's diet consists of. The orca resembles the great white shark in its predatory skill and range of food. They eat seabirds, turtles, fishes, including sharks, whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea lions. These hunters feed in groups of two to twenty animals. They can even kill baleen whales much larger then themselves. They have 10 to 13 teeth on each side of each jaw, which helps in their feeding. Though killer whales sometimes attack dolphins, seals, and other whales larger than themselves, but they have not been known to attack people, although there have been documented cases of killer whale attacks.
Throughout...

Find Another Essay On Killer Whales

Whales in Captivity Essay

1180 words - 5 pages “… building a tank the size of Rhode Island wouldn’t be large enough for a six-ton male killer whale such as Tilikum, an animal capable of swimming 100 miles a day,” states an anonymous whale expert. Whales have been in captivity since 1861 when P.T. Barnum displayed the first live whale that was captured in Canada. However, Barnum had no idea how to care for the mammal and it died after only a week in captivity. (Animal Legal and Historical

The Killer Whale. taxonomy, ecology, evolutionary history, reproduction, distribution, morphological characteristics, behavioral characteristics, and conservation.

2373 words - 9 pages TAXONOMY AND EVOLUTION Killer whales are in the order Cetacea which includes all dolphins, porpoises, and whales. They belong to the suborder Odontoceti which includes the toothed whales, dophins and porpoises. They belong to the family Delphinidae or the dolphins, and killer whales are the largest of the group. The genus is Orcinus and species is orca. Killer whales had a reputation for being fierce killing machines which is why the

Killer Whale in Captivity

2418 words - 10 pages Captivity is the state or period of being imprisoned, confined, or enslaved, according to Wiktionary. Every year, marine parks and aquariums, like SeaWorld, make billions of dollars through ticket sales. SeaWorld estimates about 70% of their total revenue is due to their performing killer whales (Jeffs). People visit from all over the world to encounter killer whales up close. “Their beauty and power, combined with willingness to work with

Killing the Killer Whale

872 words - 4 pages Orcas, also known as killer whales, are amazingly intelligent and are a top predator, much like humans. However, when the top predator of the ocean collides with the top predator of land, the situation can become fatal for both humans and the whales. Holding these incredibly massive marine animals in captivity is not only inhumane and detrimental to the whale’s health, but also a potentially fatal activity for humans to participate in. Orca

SeaWorld: Behind the Scenes

2117 words - 8 pages For 50 years SeaWorld has entertained park guests with numerous stunts involving the majestic sea creature, the orca, also referred to as the killer whale, and their human trainers. What the on-lookers don’t see at these shows is what goes on behind the scenes: how the whales got there in the first place, and the conditions in which they are housed. SeaWorld San Diego opened in March 21, 1964. This was the first SeaWorld park to be established

Sonar vs. Whale Migration

948 words - 4 pages Resident killer whales, blue whales, humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises—through the use of high-intensity mid-frequency sonar.” What Mashuda is saying is that we shouldn’t be using high-intensity mid-frequency sonar in areas with high-populated marine life. In fact the use of sonar should only be used in areas that do not have a high population of marine life and especially not used in times of whale migration. Furthermore the economic

Analysis of Whales

1913 words - 8 pages . When a fish swims it moves its tail left and right repeatedly, but when a whale is swimming it moves its tail or as it's called their Fluke up and down. The fastest a whale swims is 30 mph and this feat is done daily by the killer or Orca Whale.You may have seen on Television or if you're lucky in person, whales jumping out of the surface of the water and splashing about. This activity is called Breaching. It is a playful activity that whales

sea world

698 words - 3 pages The true story of sea worlds orcasThe main attraction of sea world is its amazing Orcas or Killer Whales, a name they have well earned due to the many attacks that have taken place through out the years at sea world.The killer whales at sea world have been preforming in front of large crowds for years, impressing the crowds and giving sea world a big name and a large profit. Although most of the shows wowed the audience not all of them ended so

The Beluga Whale

1611 words - 7 pages and cause pollution, which will certainly cause many deaths ("Beluga Whale ( Delphinapterus leucas)"). Also the melting of the ice is destroying the places where belugas tend to find refuge, to hide away from common preditors such as polar bears and killer whales ("Beluga Whale ( Delphinapterus leucas)"). Though there are many causes why beluga whale population is declining, there are certain government agencies and acts that are protecting

Whale's Life on Entertainment Parks

2760 words - 11 pages Everyone dreams to be able to go to SeaWorld, to see the whales—these majestic creatures gracefully swimming, so close to you. Then, you can go see the Shamu show, and you can see all the tricks the whales have been trained to do. When one finds out about the whale’s life, everything changes. Killer whales in SeaWorld are held in captivity without the necessary living conditions or treatments. Due to this, the whales should be released because

The Dark Side

716 words - 3 pages reliable reputation. The photographer does an excellent job to represent David Kirby’s contribution to the issues involved for whales in captivity. The dark blue color shadowing the aqua blue water of the killer whale triggers an emotional response of questions. What is causing the shadow? What mystery and secrets does this book hold? The title of the book, Death at SeaWorld is in white, then darkening to grey lettered font. Death in white font

Similar Essays

Captive Orcas Killer Whales Essay

1640 words - 7 pages Though often seen as fierce killing machines, Orca whales, more commonly known as killer whales, are much different. In some ways, these mysterious creatures are much like humans. Many people are fascinated by these whales when they see them perform in marine parks such as SeaWorld. What most people don’t realize is that the life of these whales is not as great as it may seem. There is much evidence that proves captive life will never be

Born Free: Killer Whales Essay

1580 words - 6 pages When I was younger I always wanted to be a trainer at SeaWorld and work with Shamu, but of course I didn’t know how controversial captivity was. As I got older I started researching the issue and came to the realization that Orcas, also known as Killer Whales should not live in captivity. In captivity Orcas are in danger as well as the trainers who work with them. Orcas are the largest of the Dolphin family and are found in all oceans. They

Killer Whales Should Not Be Kept In Captivity

2647 words - 11 pages times, but would not die. Since the whale would not die they decided to keep the whale and put it on display. There was little information on how to take care of the whale. Moby Doll did not eat for fifty-five days while being held captive. They were giving the whale the wrong food and when they finally figured it out the whale killed itself a month later. “Stories of Killer Captive Whales”. Meanwhile, word had gone out to Ted Griffin the owner of

This Essay Is About The Killer Whales Scientific Classification: Order & Genus

1867 words - 7 pages Killer whales, a beutiful large mammal, largest of th dolphin family. The scientific order of all types of whales is Cetacea. This large order is broken down into three further groups as well: the toothed whales or Odontoceti, which includes killer whales, dolphins, porpoises, beluga whales, and sperm whales, the baleen whales or Mysticeti, which include blue whales, humpback whales, gray whales, and right whales, and the Archaeoceti order