Killer Whales are Dolphins?
Orcas & Dolphins
The “Orca” or Killer Whale is actually a dolphin. They are the largest member of the dolphin family growing up to 30 feet or more in length, and weigh up to 12,000 pounds. The largest recorded male killer was 32 ft. in length and weighed 22,000 lbs. The largest recorded female was 28 ft. and weighed 16,500 lbs.
Orcas are one of the 35 species in the dolphin family. Orcas use echolocation a form of “radar” to communicate with each other and to hunt. Killer whales hunt with as many as 40 in a group called a “pod”. Unknown to many people, Killer Whales have their own unique sound, this is how each identify members of their own pods.
Killer whales are found from the icy cold Arctic and Antarctic oceans to tropical areas. Orcas are able to adapt very well to any climate.
They enjoy a diet of seals, fish, seabirds, small whales and other dolphins. How do they eat these meals? Orcas have teeth that can be 4 inches long. Killer Whales eat up to 5% of their body weight each day. Wow, that averages to about 500 pounds of food a day. For some great information about whales go to this link. Orcas are distinctive looking by their black and white coloring. The dorsal or top part of its body is black, with a pale white to gray “saddle” behind the dorsal fin. It has an oval, white eye patch behind and above each eye. Each whale can be individually identified by its markings and by the shape of its saddle patch and dorsal fin. Their beauty often makes them the star attraction at many Sea Parks and Aquariums.
Although you probably won’t be seeing killer whales while on a Baypoint Water Sports, Panama City Beach dolphin tour, you are pretty much guaranteed to see and interact with the local bottle nose dolphins that are common around Panama City Beach!