galapagos
killer whale

galapagos killer whale (orcas) facts

Name: Galapagos Killer Whale (Orcas)
Family: Delphinidae
Scientific Name: Orcinus orca
Length: Males 6 – 8 meters long (19 – 26 feet) Females 5 – 7 meters (16 – 23 feet)
Weight: Males 6-8 tons Females 5 tons

Blow: Tall and bushy
Breaching: Leaps vertically
Group size: Family groups of 2 - 30

Category: Blackfish

Five species or Blackfish have been recorded in Galapagos. The blackfish include the largest members of the dolphin family: the killer and pilot whales. They are predominantly black with conspicuous dorsal fins. The jaws contain many well-developed conical teeth, but the beak is small or lacking. Like other dolphins they are highly social, fast and acrobatic, often breaching, spy-hopping and lobtailing. They are extremely effective and powerful pack-hunters, able to catch fish, squid, and in some cases, marine mammals.

Frequent inshore and offshore, often seen during a Galapagos cruise.

Identification:
The largest of the dolphins and perhaps the most distinctive cetacean of all. The striking black body, white eye-patch and prominent dorsal fin are unmistakable. Dorsal fin size and shape varies with age and sex. Adult males possess triangular fins which can reach up to 2 m in height. Females and immatures have smaller, sickle-shaped fins. Known to hunt other marine mammals including Sea lions, Sperm Whales and Bryde's Whales in Galapagos.

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