In the 1970s, research pioneered by Michael Bigg led to the discovery of the species' complex social structure, its use of vocal communication, and its extraordinarily stable mother–offspring bonds.
A modelling study determined that the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) of exhaust pollutants was about 12% of the human dose. Orcas are social animals that essentially live in stable families.
Some people kill them for food, while fishermen see the animals as competition that must be killed to protect the fish population. , Although the term "orca" is increasingly used, English-speaking scientists most often use the traditional name "killer whale".  The genus name Orcinus means "of the kingdom of the dead", or "belonging to Orcus".
, In steeply banked beaches off Península Valdés, Argentina, and the Crozet Islands, killer whales feed on South American sea lions and southern elephant seals in shallow water, even beaching temporarily to grab prey before wriggling back to the sea.  When pods meet, dominant call types decrease and subset call types increase.  Some populations, such as in Alaska's Prince William Sound, may have been reduced significantly by whalers shooting them in retaliation. New York, Never approach or try to save an injured or entangled animal yourself—it can be dangerous to both the animal and you.
Digital acoustic suction cup tags are shedding light on foraging behavior for the whales and how finding and catching salmon may be affected by vessels and sound.
These bonds can extend well into adulthood. NOAA Fisheries is committed to the protection and recovery of all killer whales. Additionally, the Northwest Area Contingency Plan (PDF, 51 pages) includes methods to discourage killer whales from swimming into spilled oil. Their diet in the wild depends on what is available, and may include fish, walruses, seals, sea lions, penguins, squid, sea turtles, sharks and whales. [c] In the wild, females who survive infancy live 46 years on average, and up to 70–80 years in rare cases. Recently, they have been spotted as far south as the coast of central California and as far north as the coast of Haida Gwaii. Governor Inslee brought state authorities, significant investments, and new members of the community to the ongoing fight to recover the iconic Southern Resident killer whales. The gestation period usually lasts for around 17 months.
Adult males develop disproportionately larger pectoral flippers, dorsal fins, tail flukes, and girths than females.
 The southern resident community alone had lost 48 of its members to captivity; by 1976, only 80 remained. Alaskan killer whales have not only learned how to steal fish from longlines, but have also overcome a variety of techniques designed to stop them, such as the use of unbaited lines as decoys.
 Killer whales also appear to regularly occur off the Galápagos Islands. The authors speculate about the future utility of studying captive populations for the purposes of understanding orca biology and the implications of such research of captive animals in the overall health of both wild and marine park populations. Jeff is the Executive Director of Killer Whale Tales, an environmental education program.
Quick Answer: What Is The Tallest Tower In Hong Kong? , Occasionally a killer whale is white; they have been spotted in the northern Bering Sea and around St. Lawrence Island, and near the Russian coast. Salmon account for 96% of northeast Pacific residents' diet, including 65% of large, fatty Chinook. Pod members communicate with each other through underwater sounds such as clicks, whistles, and pulsed calls. They are considered an apex predator, eating at the top of the food chain. The decision to phase out the shows in San Diego is the result of customer feedback, a company representative said. Though SeaWorld claims, "Neither the shape nor the droop of a whale's dorsal fin are indicators of a killer whale's health or well-being," collapsed dorsal fins are extremely rare in the wild. Photo Credit: NOAA Fisheries. On average males will grow between 20 – 26 ft. long and weigh between 6 – 6.6 tons while female killer whales will grow to an average of 16 – 23 ft. long and weigh between 3.5 – 4.5 tons. Sites are available in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California. , In 2005, the United States government listed the southern resident community as an endangered population under the Endangered Species Act.  In the Mediterranean, killer whales are considered "visitors", likely from the North Atlantic, and sightings become less frequent further east. Often, young females will help the mothers care for young orcas.
Only two populations receive special protections under federal law: Southern Resident killer whales are the only endangered population of killer whales in the United States, ranging from central California to southeast Alaska. "Grampus" is a former name for the species, but is now seldom used. M. P. Spencer, T. A. Gornall, 3rd, and T. C. Poulter (1967). The reason has to do with cows’ agricultural uses and gentle nature. Gallery: Russia's Beautiful Killer Whales, Video: Killer Whales Caught in Stunning Drone Footage, multiple species or subspecies of killer whales, NOAA Office of Protected Resources: Killer Whale. The orca or killer whale (Orcinus orca) is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family, of which it is the largest member. Four others then learned to copy the behaviour. and, G.M. , There are seven identified ecotypes inhabiting isolated ecological niches. Internet Explorer lacks support for the features of this website.
UBC Press, Vancouver. Although bacteria, fungi, and viruses are the most commonly recognized members of microbiomes, phytoplankton and protists are also…. Often, to avoid injury, killer whales disable their prey before killing and eating it. , Between 1964 and 1976, 50 killer whales from the Pacific Northwest were captured for display in aquaria, and public interest in the animals grew.
Through photo-identification techniques, individuals were named and tracked over decades. The ESA authorizes NOAA Fisheries to appoint recovery teams to help develop and implement recovery plans. Recovery of threatened and endangered salmon, for example, is a monumental task in itself and is expected to take many years.  Killer whales are unique among cetaceans, as their caudal sections elongate with age, making their heads relatively shorter. Learn more about our photogrammetry research (PDF, 2 pages).
The average size of a matriline is 5.5 animals. Unlike any other known mammal social structure, resident whales live with their mothers for their entire lives. Question: Who Has The Biggest Economy In The World. Then, the sound wave will bounce back to the orca. While orca attacks on humans are rare, as of 2013 four humans have died due to interactions with an orca. What is Nearshore Habitat and Why Does it Matter to Orcas? Recovery of the Southern Residents and their preferred salmon prey, as well as protection of their broad and diverse habitat, is a long-term process that requires support over a large geographic area, from California to southeast Alaska. In captivity, however, financial decisions often sever those family bonds. Was Jonah swallowed by a fish or a whale?  In one instance, killer whales tried to tip ice floes on which a dog team and photographer of the Terra Nova Expedition were standing. There was a problem.
Although there was some growth in the population in the 1970s and 1980s, with a peak of 98 animals in 1995, the population experienced a decline of almost 20 percent in the late 1990s, leaving 80 whales in 2001. The pulse is about 60 heartbeats per minute when the orca is at the surface, dropping to 30 beats/min when submerged.
Photo: NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center. Research projects have illuminated new aspects of killer whale biology, behavior, and ecology and helped us better understand the challenges this population faces.
Killer whales are found in all oceans.
Credit: Robin Utrecht/AFP/Getty Images.
They weigh up to 6 tons (5,443 kilograms) and gro…
People who have interacted closely with killer whales offer numerous anecdotes demonstrating the whales' curiosity, playfulness, and ability to solve problems.
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