A Picture of a Killer Whale (Orcinus orca)

Killer Whale Facts

  • Name: Killer Whale
  • Binomial Name: Orcinus orca
  • Lifespan: Between 50 and 80 years (wild)
  • Diet: Carnivorous
  • Range: All Major Oceans
  • Length: Between 16 and 26 feet
  • Weight: Between 3.3 and 6.6 short tons

19 Killer Whale Facts for Kids

  1. A killer whale is a member of the Delphinidae (oceanic dolphin) family.

  2. The killer whale is the largest member of the Delphinidae family.
  3. The binomial name for a killer whale is Orcinus orca.
  4. An adult killer whale can live between 50 and 80 years in the wild.
  5. An adult male killer whale can reach between 20 and 26 feet in length.
  6. An adult male killer whale can weigh more than 13,200 pounds.
  7. An adult female killer whale can reach between 16 and 23 feet in length.
  8. An adult female killer whale can weigh between 6,600 and 8,800 pounds.
  9. Killer whales are carnivorous and considered an apex predator.
  10. Killer whales feed on fish, marine mammals and sometimes other smaller whales.
  11. A male killer whale is called a bull.
  12. A female killer whale is a called a cow.
  13. A young killer whale is called a calf.
  14. A group of killer whales is called a pod or an orca pod.
  15. Killer whale pods can have up to 40 individuals.
  16. Killer whales are sometimes called the wolves of the sea.
  17. Female killer whales give live birth to calves every three to ten years, with a gestation period of about 17 months.
  18. At birth, a killer whale calf can weigh as much as 350 pounds.
  19. The Blackfish film documentary showed the psychological damage that happens to killer whales in captivity.

Additional Resources on Killer Whales