Intelligent, Powerful & Nurturing
Killer Whales are the apex predator of oceans all around the world, the very top of the food chain and unmistakable in the cetacean world.
The family pods are lead by a matriarch, the eldest female in the family who through her years of experience and knowledge gained can nurture her family. Living in family pods of 6-20 individuals, they closely learn from the matriarch as she teaches them the language of the family, their diet, hunting and social skills and foraging grounds. The matriarch is usually closely followed by her son, a male Killer Whale is one of the most powerful individuals in the animal kingdom and simply stunning to observe. A dorsal fin as large as a man and weighing in at up to 10 tonnes, a male Orca is an impressive member of the family pod.
The daughters of the matriarch and their calves all live with their family pod, Killer Whales have an extremely close bond and it is highly unusual for them to depart from their family as they will often live together for the duration of their lives. There lifespan is 60-100 years with the females living the longest, one of the important reasons why they are the leaders of the family as those extra years of life are fundamental in lessons learnt.
Every family has a unique language they speak amongst themselves and a specific diet passed down from one generation to the next. Humans are not part of a Killer Whales diet and this is a reason why there have never been any recordings of wild Killer Whales hunting humans, they don’t see us as a food source and instead lean towards intense curiosity towards us.
They are extraordinarily intelligent, having the second largest brain on the planet and highly complex family bonds. Killer Whales must use their brains for survival, without their intelligence they simply wouldn’t be at the top of the food chain and the oceans apex predator. Combining their size, intelligence and ability to work as a family team over many years creates a superior predator.
There is a gentle and nurturing side to Killer Whales as well, building a friendship with the family pods over the years, it is always humbling when they approach our vessel to greet us.
Seeing news calves born and having the matriarchs bring their newest family members to us and initiate an introduction is one of life’s greatest moments, displaying how special Killer Whales truly are, and how we must never underestimate their intelligence and capacity to think.