What makes killer whales predators

Why are orcas called killer whales?

We also call them killer whales or orcas, their Latin name is "Orcinus Orca". But they have also been nicknamed the killer whale. Why? This question comes from Lucia, 16 years old.

Orcas are predators that kill mercilessly to gain prey. This has earned them the nickname killer whales.Source: © Tatiana Ivkovich, Shutterstock

Killer whales are the largest specimen of the dolphin family. They were given the designation "killer whale" or "killer whale" because unbelievable numbers of devoured animals were found in stranded or dead killer whales. In addition, the orca also belongs to the toothed whales and has a terrifying set of teeth consisting of forty strong, tightly spaced teeth.

Kill to get prey

However, the term killer whale is incorrect. Because killer whales do not attack animals or people indiscriminately, they only kill to feed. Orcas feed on schools of fish, but also on squids, octopuses, birds or smaller whales and seals. Killer whales often hunt together and then share the prey with each other.

Health police of the sea

Killer whales live in all oceans, especially in the cold regions of the Arctic and Antarctic. They are considered the health police of the sea, as they also eat sick and weak animals. Killer whales weigh between three and nine tons. They are excellent swimmers and can reach speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour.

You can find out more on the subject in WAS IST WAS Volume 85. Whales and Dolphins. The gentle giants