Marine Animals, Pacific Northwest
The Killer Whale, or Orca, is a common feature of the waters of the Pacific Northwest coast. They inhabit all oceans but are more common in the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. Orcas are spotted in the warm waters but not often. Some whales are migrant and others like to stay in one area. They are called migrant and resident pods.
Killer whales that inhabit our local waters have been listed as endangered since 2001. There are about 800 whales in total in these waters.
The killer whale is the largest predator of mammals that exists on earth, today. Male killer whales can reach to almost 7 meters and weigh up to 5,500 kg. These whales can swim as fast as 48 km per hour, making them excellent hunters.
Orcas travel in social units called pods, containing one dominant adult male, several adult breeding females, and a number of subadults of both sexes. There may be as many as 30 whales in these pods.
They have an extremely varied diet, consuming fish, birds, seals, and even other whales.