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Killer whale

Killer whale (Orcinus orca) is a largest species from family Delphinidae. Killer whales are found in all oceans from Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas, but most common in high-productive temperate and subpolar waters. Killer whales as a species have a diverse diet, although individual populations often specialize in particular types of prey. Some feed exclusively on fish, while others hunt marine mammals such as sea lions, seals, walruses and even large whales. In our area two ecotypes of killer whale occur - fish-eating (resident) ans mammal-eating (transient), which were recently proposed to be a separate species.
Resident killer whales feed primarily of fish. In Kamchatka waters feeding on Atka mackerel and Chum salmon was documented. Residents have very close, long-term family associations. Males and females both swim with their mothers their entire lives, so mating only happens when multiple pods come together for a few hours or days, and those associations are only temporary.
Resident killer whales use vocal dialects to keep their pods together. Some calls are unique to only a small pod of 6 or 7 animals. Others may be used by a whole clan, or extended family group of 30-50 animals.
Transient killer whales feed primarily of marine mammals, including seals, sea lions, porpoises, and other whales. They usually have a larger range than residents, and in some cases may travel over a thousand miles, but they also have areas where they visit frequently.
Transients have a social structure that is less defined than residents, and usually swim in smaller groups of 1 to 7 animals. While Residents are often vocal, Transients travel quietly so that they do not alert their prey. There are far fewer Transients than Residents.
The dorsal fins of Transient often have a more triangular shape, while Residents have dorsal fins that are more curved and have a more rounded tip.

Humpback whale



Killer whale



Sperm whale



Baird's beaked whale



Dall's porpoise



Minke whale