The name “killer whale” is a misnomer. Orcas, aka killer whales, are actually dolphins.
Orcas are the largest member of the Delphinidae family, which includes dolphins and other species.
Like dolphins, orcas are highly intelligent and social animals as well as the sea’s apex predators.
Don’t be fooled by the name. Killer whales, aka orcas, are actually dolphins.
They belong to the family Delphinidae, which includes all dolphin species as well as pilot whales.
In fact, killer whales are the largest dolphins in the sea, and that should make you think twice about getting in the water with them.
Killer whales are vicious predators that aren’t afraid to go after large animals (or objects), including great white sharks, blue whales, humpback whales, and even boats.
Orcas don’t prey on humans, but an increasing number of recent boat attacks show just how powerful these giant dolphins can be — especially when they team up in a pod.
Some of the attacks have ended up sinking entire boats.
Like other dolphins, killer whales are famous for their intelligence and social nature. They form life-long relationships with their offspring and each pod has its own dialect to communicate and hunt.
Dolphins and whales both belong to a larger group of animals called Cetaceans. That’s why you might see orcas sometimes referred to as whales.
But on a more granular level, whales and dolphins are taxonomically distinct. Put another way, all dolphins are whales but not all whales are dolphins.
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