Orca Killer Whale

Great Barrier Island

  • orca-killer-whale

Ecology Category: Fauna and Marine Mammals

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  • Despite its confusing name, the killer whale is actually the largest member of the dolphin family.

    The killer whale/orca (Orcinus orca) is well known and can be identified relatively easily by its distinctive black and white markings and very tall, prominent dorsal fin. They can grow up to 9 m in length, with male dorsal fins reaching higher than a metre.

    Orca flippers are large and paddle-shaped and overall the body is robust. They are acrobatic and are commonly seen breaching and flipper-slapping.

    Females and males differ in that males are longer and bulkier than females and females have smaller, more curved dorsal fins, and smaller flippers.

    Read More at the Department of Conservation

    Source: Department of Conservation and licensed by greatbarrierisland.nz for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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