Orca whales are one of the most fascinating species on our planet. In many ways, they mimic the way humans operate and the systems that we have put in place.
Below, we have compiled a list of our 6 favorite orca whale facts that might be quite surprising for you to see!
6. Orca Whales Are Not Just Whales
Orca whales are not considered fish because they are marine mammals. Naturally, when we hear the term “marine mammal” our minds drift to the popular whale population.
Now, considering orcas are marine mammals, their large size, and they have whale in their name, it would be easy to assume that they are in fact just whales. However, they are actually the largest member of the beloved dolphin family, Delphinidae.
So, maybe it would make sense to start calling them Orca Dolphins! (Nahhh)
5. Orca Whales Live With Family
Like humans, orca whales are very social creatures. They thrive when they are around family and friends that support them and lend them a flipper in times of need.
At the core of the orca pods holding the family together are the females. In one orca pod, there can be as many as 5 generations of young orcas, mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and great-great-grandmothers!!
Pods are special because they do everything together from hunting to traveling to sleeping. When one member of the pod is threatened, they all spring into action in order to protect them!
If an orca does die, the rest of the pod is known to mourn the loss of their loved one much like us humans mourn the loss of our loved ones.
4. Orca Whale Pods Have Different Languages
Across the globe, humans from different people groups communicate in many different ways: English, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, French, Japanese, etc.. The same rings true for orca pods!
Their language is considered one of the most complex of all languages on earth because of their use various uses of high-pitched whistles, low-frequency pops and pulsed calls!
Sometimes they even use a clapping sound with their jaw!
What makes this even more complex is how each pod has different uses of these sounds to communicate within their own pod. Meaning a foreign orca would more than likely not understand how a pod communicates if they were to try and join it.
3. Orcas Sleep With One Eye Open
Sometimes orcas need to go to the water’s surface in order to breathe. So, they can never fully drift off into a deep sleep.
To make sure they don’t fall fully asleep, they keep one eye open which triggers the opposite side of the brain to shut down into sleep mode.
If they were to open the shut eye and close the other, then the opposite side of the brain would shut down while the other wakes back up!
2. The Oldest Recorded Orca Is...
Remember how we said that orca pods can have up to 5 generations within them? That must mean that they can get pretty old!
While the females do reproduce rather often, they are known to live to be over 90 years old! The oldest orca ever recorded lived to be at least 103!!
They must really live by the phrase coined by the famous fish Dory, “Just Keep Swimming”.
1. No Wild Orca Has Ever Attacked A Human
Often given the name “killer whale”, orcas are seen as the resident “killers” of the ocean.
While they are apex predators and can take down sharks and big whales, they’re really not as vicious as their reputation perceives them to be!
They are actually very friendly creatures that enjoy interaction with humans. This is why there has never been a reported incident of a wild orca attacking a human.
Typically, they just come up to say hello, maybe get a snack, and a little bit of lovin’.
The only known deaths that have occurred from the orcas are when they are under stress in captivity.
These stressers force them into anxiety which results in the attacks.
We think that orcas are pretty cool creatures and we have a specific pod on our hearts, the Southern Resident orca whales in the Pacific Northwest. This pod is critically endangered and we want to do something about it!
This is why we teamed up with the David Suzuki Foundation to assist them in their fight to help save the orcas!
Proceeds of every bottle bought from our orca collection will go to the David Suzuki Foundation efforts.
So what do you say, are you ready to #JoinThePod?