The Killer Whale is a huge sea mammal that can reach nine metres in length and can weigh up to five tonnes. It is also known as the Orca Whale and is not a true whale, but a member of the Dolphin family. It usually lives in groups called pods and can regularly be seen in the Irish Sea and occasionally off the north-east coast of England.
The Killer Whale has a heavy-looking body which is mainly black on top and white underneath. It has a black triangular-shaped fin situated in the middle of its back which is about one and a half metres tall. This fin is called a ‘dorsal' fin and behind this fin the Killer Whale has a white saddle-like patch. It also has a smaller white patch behind each eye. The eyes are very small compared to the size of this whale. The Killer Whale also has a large round blowhole which it breathes through.
The young of Killer Whales are called ‘calves’ and when they are first born they are about two and half metres in length and weigh around one hundred and eight kilogrammes. Calves stay very close to their mothers and they soon learn to communicate by making loud high-pitched calls.
Sponsored by: Emma Nickson, Preston