Killer Whale Facts: ACTIVITIES:
Killer whales exhibit a wide variety of activities as they go about their daily lives. The activities of killer whale groups fall into four categories: foraging, travelling, resting, and socializing.
Foraging is the most common activity, and appears where the whales are feeding or appear to be searching for food. Different patterns of foraging are evident in both residents and transients, depending on the type of prey. Members of a pod frequently cooperate in hunts.
Travelling is when a group of killer whales are travelling consistently in one direction in a moderate to fast pace in relatively tight formation. They may travel from one good feeding spot to another, or it could simply be a means of transiting an area.
Members of a group will often rest after foraging. The whales typically group together, diving and surfacing as a cohesive unit. When resting, whales slow down and at times stop altogether, and usually become very quiet underwater. Periods of rest may last from less than an hour to more than 7 hours. Resting is not very common in transients.
Socializing among killer whales includes a great variety of interactions between members of the group. Behaviours seen during socializing episodes include various aerial displays including breaching, spy-hopping, tail slapping, beach rubbing, and flipper slapping. Whales may also interact with inanimate objects such as kelp and have also been seen to surf in the wake of passing boats.
Killer Whale Facts: SENSES & COMMUNICATION:
Killer whales can also be distinguished by the kinds of underwater communication sounds they produce - squeals, squawks, and screams are used for social communication within and between groups. Killer Whale clans, like dolphins, can be distinguished by their different dialects.
Killer whales have acute hearing and also acute vision both in and out of the water.
Echolocation enables them to locate and discriminate objects by projecting high-frequency sound waves and listening for echoes. Killer whales echo-locate by producing clicking sounds and then receiving and interpreting the resulting echo.
Killer Whale Facts: LIFE SPAN:
Some males have been known to live well into their 40s and perhaps to 50-60 years old. Females have been known to live to 60-80 years old.