Scientific Name For Killer Whale
The scientific name for killer whale is Orcinus orca, and they are not fish, but mammals. The killer whale is one of the largest dolphins inhabiting our oceans. They are also known as blackfish, sea wolves, killing demons, fish tigers or orca, but are rarely known by these names. Orca in Latin means a big pot or jar. Many believe that the term Orcinus comes from the Latin word Orcus, which is also the name for the Roman god of the dead and the Underworld. It is quite possible that this name was selected to highlight the violent nature of these mammals.
As dangerous as the killer whale sounds, it does not attack humans. In fact, this mammal is a ferocious hunter when it comes to killing seals and other whales living in the oceans. It is this ferocity that sailors saw centuries ago and ended up calling them whale killers, which ultimately got transformed to killer whales. The Spanish sailors used to call these whales ballena asesina, which roughly translates to assassin whale, which perhaps is an apt name for these predacious killers.
The killer whale has a tapering body that is not just streamlined, but also magnificent to look at. The dorsal side of the whale is black in color while the chest is white in color. In addition, the whale as has white patches around its eyes and on the flanks. A male whale can attain a length of six to eight meters and weigh as much as six tons. However, females tend to be smaller and can be about six to seven meters in length and weigh about four tons.
The way a killer whale swims is really amazing. It makes use of its flippers and tail to maneuver and stop. Its flippers are rounded and appear like a paddle. However, the killer whale can have a dorsal fin of any shape but usually it is wavy or curvy but it can as be twisted or bent. The dorsal fin allows the killer whale to be steady and stable while it is swimming at high speeds.
While a killer whale is unable to smell, it has outstanding sense of hearing and vision. This makes it an extremely lethal predator in the ocean where other whales and seals are concerned. It is quite common to see these whales hunting in pods, but the pods also work towards protecting the young calves. Pods are usually composed of five to thirty whales with the females and the calves staying in the middle and the males on the edges of the pod.
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