An overview of the anatomy and habitat of killer whales

Old-fashioned indeed—whales are mammals, not fish. Thankfully, our scientific understanding of whales has come a long way sinceand much of that knowledge is collected in Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises, a sperm whale-sized compendium of all things cetacean.

An overview of the anatomy and habitat of killer whales

Adult killer whales give birth to a single baby only once were twins recorded about every years. They start breeding at about years of age the youngest known was only Gestation is months. Babies nurse for about one year. Almost half of all the babies die within their first year. Females only breed for about 25 years then they stop when they are about 40 years old.

Thus, each female only produces about surviving offspring in her life. A baby killer whale abovesurfaces to breathe. GA image Male and female killer whales. GA image All individuals in the resident populations stay with their mother.

Little is known of actual mating encounters but genetic evidence DNA analysis shows that there is no mating within the matrilineal group. This behavior prevents inbreeding. How it is accomplished is unknown. It may be by recognition of their dialects. Each of these matrilineal groups has its own dialect that changes from time to time but all of the whales within one matrilineal group use the same dialect.

It would seem that mating may only occur between two individuals that had different dialects. This is only a theory but a plausible answer.

GA image Females live an average life of 50 years, but there are some that are estimated to be over 90 years old. The whale K7 was probably born in and may be the oldest killer whale alive today.

The whale named Granny J2 was thought to have been born in She is the matriarch of the J pod [and probably the mother of Ruffles J1 who was born in ]. Granny and Ruffles always travel together.

An overview of the anatomy and habitat of killer whales

J pod, Ruffles and his female relatives above. GA image Males live an average life span of only 29 years, but some have lived to years old.

Male killer whales mature at about years old. They reach full size at about 20 when the tall dorsal fin and droopy flukes become obvious. Before that, young males are hard to tell from young females unless they breach to see the mammary slits or display their penis which they may do in play.

Each individual is given a number and put in a catalogue with a picture of its dorsal fin and saddle patch. The catalogue is updated each year as the San Juan researchers census each pod and plot their daily activities every June.

The J, K and L pods often join and intermingle for social activities. They spyhop, breach, tail lob, fin slap and generally appear to be playing with each other during these social interactions. In J pod had 20 individuals, K pod had 17, and L pod had One source noted that in there were a total of 87 up from the numbers in these three pods combined and that it was thought that original numbers were close to Adult killer whales give birth to a single baby (only once were twins recorded) about every years.

They start breeding at about years of age (the youngest known was only 11). Gestation is . Most toothed whales are small dolphins and porpoise, however there are a few large toothed whales such as the killer whale and the mighty sperm whale, which grows to 60 feet ( meters) in length.

Toothed whales are believed to be some of the most intelligent animals on earth. Apr 12,  · Overview - Open Ocean Habitats (1) Unit 3 - Coral Reef Habitat (13) Overview - Coral Reef Habitat (1) Lesson 1 - An Introduction to the Coral Reef Habitat (3) Lesson 2 - Coral Structure and Function (2) Lesson 3 - Human Impact on the Coral Reefs (4) Humpback Whales (10) Overview - Humpback Whale (1) Lesson 1 - Anatomy.

What they look like: The orca (killer whale) is a toothed whale and is the largest member of the Dolphin family. These large marine mammals are easily distinguished by their black-and-white coloration, large dorsal fin and a sleek, streamlined body. Two mammal-eating "transient" killer whales photographed off the south side of Unimak .

WWF supports a gray whale research team in the Gulf of California’s San Ignacio Lagoon—one of the best places in the world to see gray whales with their calves. The calm, warm waters of the lagoon are a safe place for young whales, free from predators like killer whales.

Toothed Whales, Overview. Author links open overlay panel Sascha K (and associated anatomy) of odontocetes, and the specialized filter-feeding mechanism observed in some species of odontocetes is the presence of postreproductive care, i.e., “menopause.” Pilot whales, killer whales, and sperm whales show similar attributes to human.

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