antarctic adventures

by grace kokke

Discription of the orca

Orcas are immediately recognisable by their distinctive black and white colouring. They have never been targeted by humans. They are also dolphins and are part of the dolphin family(which is strange, because they are also called killer whales )

The life span of a orca is 50-80 years! And males can reach the size of 9.7 meters and females can reach 7 meters . The massive mammal can weigh up to 6 tons or are the same size as a bus !They are mammals and are carnivores. When a group of orcas join together they are called a pod, the pod can include up to 40 other individuals

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Prey and predators

Orcas hunt in pacs and are top of the Antarctic and marine food chain. There prey include mammals like seals, sea lions and even other whales. They are also are know to eat crabs, fish, squid and seabirds.They use different techniques to catch there prey. Different strategies can be applied each time . These strategies can be used throughout the pod to communicate

Orcas do not have any Antarctic predators

Breading


The orca is ready to breed at the age of 7 to 16 years. Females can produce until the age of 40 . There average number of babies per killer whale is 5.

Habitat

Orcas prefer cold water and live as a pod and like to settle in a place with lots of prey around to eat
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adaptions

1. The large size helps reduce body tempter loss
2. Under the thick skin of the mammal is a thick layer of blubber
3. When sleeping the orca resets half of its brain while the other half is still awake and will switch over the night
4. The shape of the orca is perfect for swimming and reduces drag

Migration

When orcas migrate its because of giving birth. If the orcas was born in the cold Antarctic waters the calf would almost instantly freeze and die. So they go to tropical warmer waters and will returns when the calf is ready. They have been sighted many times in NSW.