Orcas, otherwise known as killer whales, are some of the most incredible creatures in the world – note, however, that although they’re referred to as whales, they’re not whales at all. Cruising through the ocean, these majestic animals have long remained a mystery to humans. They boast rare and unusual traits and an unfathomable intelligence that compares to very few other animals.
Unfortunately, like many other creatures, orcas have also been used as performance animals in many places around the world, specifically the United States. Their intelligence allows them to learn to obey their human trainers, and humans have been able to teach them incredible tricks. However, while they may seem stunning to the audiences that pay to see them flip around and swim alongside their trainers, this isn’t the natural way of life for these beautiful animals.
Living in captivity for no reason other than the entertainment of humans has proven to be incredibly unhealthy for orcas. Unfortunately, their intelligence allows them to understand just how trapped they are, and many believe that they yearn for the freedom of the ocean and a normal life in nature.
Where are Orcas Found?
Like online Canadian casino slots, orcas can be seen all over the world – they’re not confined to any one place. They’re also capable of traveling extreme distances in response to weather and feeding habits. In fact, orcas are one of the most naturally widely dispersed sea animals in the world.
Do Orcas Enjoy Solitude or Company?
Owing, perhaps, to how clever they and their consequent emotional intelligence, so to speak, orcas actually really enjoy being in groups. Groups of orcas are called pods, and the sizes of pods vary dramatically.
Some pods function similarly to a human family unit, with about four or five orcas included in the group. Pods may even be as small as two, making it more of a couple – well, that may be how humans choose to romanticise things.
However, orca pods grow to as big as 50, consisting of orcas of different ages and coming from different families, so to speak. Just like any other large group of animals, each pod has a hierarchy with certain orcas being in charge and the rest filtering in below.
Other Interesting Facts About Orcas
- While orcas are generally known to simply cruise around at a moderate speed, they are also able to increase their speed dramatically. When they’re on a mission – hunting, perhaps – orcas can swim at around 50 kilometres per hour, making the fastest swimming animals in the world.
- Orcas aren’t migratory animals, but they have been known to travel great distances in search of food.
- When in the wild, orcas generally live to between 50 and 80 years old – similar to the lifespan of humans. In captivity, sadly, their lives are generally shorter due to a plethora of different reasons.
- Since orcas need to surface to breathe, they sleep with one eye open – when they do this, it means the opposite side of their brain is functioning.