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Mammal. Orcas belong to the dolphin family, although they are often referred to as killer whales. Like dolphins, orcas use echolocation – that is, bouncing sound off objects to determine their location and locate prey. Orcas are voluntary breathers, sleeping with only half of their brain at a time while the other half remains alert to regulate breathing. They are very social animals who live in stable family groups, called pods, and display a high level of care for their offspring. They also hunt together, like wolves. Orcas speak in dialects, and they can recognize the sounds from members of their own pod from several miles away.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Orcinus orca 30-80 years
Carnivore. Fish, squid, seals, sea lions, penguins, dolphins, porpoises and large whales like the blue whale.
Predators and Threats
Humans, along with pollution and contamination.
All oceans in the world; most common in the Arctic and Antarctic. Often spotted off the west coast of North America.