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Orcas Also known as Killer Whales

Despite their name, Killer Whale, Orca's are actually Dolphins!

They're immediately recognizable by their distinctive black-and-white coloring.

They can grow up to 9 m in length, with male dorsal fins reaching higher than a metre.

Smart and social, orcas make a wide variety of communicative sounds, and each pod has distinctive noises that its members will recognize even at a distance.

They are the biggest species of Dolphin but this doesn't hold them back from pulling off amazing acrobatic tricks!

They use echolocation to communicate and hunt, making sounds that travel underwater until they encounter objects, then bounce back, revealing their location, size, and shape.

Fish species are important in their diet, such as salmon, tuna, herring, cod, sharks and rays. Squid, octopus, sea birds and sea turtles are also eaten and even other species of marine mammals!

Orca hunt cooperatively and are even known to intentionally strand themselves on beaches temporarily in order to catch seals or sea lions.

Orca are known to play with their food, check out the bottom Orca as it passes the Sting ray to the rest of the pod.

If you haven't checked out Nathan Pettigrew before- he is a local marine mammal permit holder and creates beautiful images and footage of marine mammals here in the Bay of Plenty!

Check out his page @marine_life_kayaker on Instagram!

The whole video is an incredible watch but if you want to see the Orca checking out Nathan's Kayak then cut to 2:40

As a rule you must not swim within 100 metres of a Orca or have your boat within 50 metres of an Orca. As Nathan Pettigrew is a Marine Mammal Permit holder, he is able to get closer.

In this video however, the swimmer mistakenly swam towards the Orca who were very interested in her! How lucky is she!?

Activity Time!

Learn how to draw and Orca!

This will also be posted in the Comments section on Facebook

Or make a 3D underwater scene!

Print the below page out to make your own. Just follow the instructions below, but remember to colour in first!

Credits:

Created with images by 272447 - "killer whale orca breaching" • 272447 - "killer whales orcas pod" • 272447 - "orca killer whale whale"