Five Incredible Facts About Killer Whales(Orca)
Killer whales, also known as orcas, are one of the most widely distributed mammals in the world, and are found in all of the planet's oceans. Killer whales are known as the most intelligent animals in the ocean, but they are not rare animals. There's still a lot we don't know about this animal. Here are 5 surprising facts about killer whales.
1 Orcas are not whales
Although they are called "killer whales", but they are actually not whales but dolphins. Even so, orcas have a size comparable to that of whales. This is considered to be the largest dolphin species in the world.
2. Orcas evolve based on population culture
In a recent study, biologists analyzed the genetic structure of many different orca species and found that differences in genetic code matched their species' cultural differences. Specifically, the team studied the genomes of two killer whale cultures in the Pacific Ocean and three other cultures from Antarctic populations. All 5 genomes showed large differences and could be divided into 5 distinct groups, which happened to fit perfectly with the cultural differences between orcas populations. Also, groups of orcas from different cultures do not easily integrate. They hunt different prey, have different hunting skills, and even have different languages for communication. As a result, killer whales from different cultures rarely mate and reproduce with each other, ultimately resulting in different genomes.
3. Orcas that must go through menopause
For almost all animals on the planet, females can usually remain fertile until they age and die. Only five species of orcas, humans, baleen whales, monodon monoceros and beluga whales, will stop breeding at specific times in their lives, and they will continue to live for decades.
4. Orcas have a tight social organization
Killer whales are one of the few species with an extremely tight social organization. They are divided into groups (families), clans and communities. The main difference between a communities is mainly language. A community may consist of multiple clans or families. Entire communities communicate in one language, but each family sometimes has its own "voice style."
5. Orcas are the most numerous mammals on Earth, alongside humans
From the Arctic to Antarctica, from the icy waters of the North and South to the warmer waters along the equator, including around the Hawaiian Islands, killer whales are present in every ocean. Due to their huge size and superior intelligence, killer whales have few natural enemies. This is why they are the most numerous mammals in the world after humans.