The assumption of many laymen that sharks are predators at the top of the food chain of marine life seems to be untrue. The ultimate oceanic predator is actually the killer whale or orca (Orcinus orca).
Actually, the assumption of killer whales as the most frightening predators in the ocean has existed for a long time. There are stories of many fishermen who have witnessed a killer whale beating an adult white shark. In fact, some have told their experiences when they see a killer whale beating two sharks at once and eating them. Until October 4, 1997, off the coast of California, a group of whale observers managed to record a moment when the killer whale ate an adult white shark.
Killer whales are known to have high intelligence. That is why they are able to defeat sharks who only fight using instincts. In fact, a 14-year-old killer whale named Wikie who was at the Marineland Aquarium in Antibes, France, became the first killer whale known to speak similar to human language, such as "hello" and "bye bye".
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1. The Killer Whale Has Been Called 'Whale Killer'
Why is it called a killer whale? The killer whale was once called a "whale killer" by sailors who saw it attacking whales. Over time, the name is reversed.
2. Non-Fish Killer Whales, not even Whales
Killer whales are not fish. They are marine mammals. But killer whales are also not popes. Killer whales are a kind of dolphin. The largest type of dolphin. Perhaps because of its large size, this mammal is called a whale.
3. The Biggest Killer Whale Ever Known was along 9.8 Meters
Really big, along the bus in comparison. Weighing about 11 tons or 9,979 kilograms, or the equivalent of an African elephant.
Usually, killer whales range between 4.9-9.1 meters and weigh around 3-6 tons or around 2,722-5,443 kilograms. Men are bigger than females. In fact, at birth, the killer whale was around 2.4 meters tall and weighed 181 kilograms-400 kilograms.
No wonder killer whales are the biggest predators in the world.
4. Hunting Killer Whales in Groups and Have High Hunting Success
Killer whales are carnivores. They eat fish, including white sharks, squid, crabs, lobsters, seals, sea lions, dugongs, seabirds, penguins, sea turtles and of course, whales, including baby sperm whales and baby blue whales. According to scientists, they will also eat polar bears if there is a chance!
Killer whales hunt in groups. Supported by their intelligence, killer whales have a high level of hunting success.
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5. Killer Whales are Social and Own Language
Killer whales are very social creatures. Killer whales can gather together to form clans. They can also be divided into small groups. They hunt and sleep together. They communicate with each other and help each other when experiencing problems. If one member dies, the rest is believed to be mourning.
The language of killer whales is one of the most complex in the animal kingdom. They produce high pitched whistles, pulsating calls, and low frequency sounds. Whistle is used for close communication or personal communication, while pulsating calls are used for remote communication. In addition to communicating through sound, killer whales communicate through touch and through various movements, such as patting the fins.
6. Killer Whales Cannot Kiss Smell
Killer whales do not have olfactory organs or lobes that are dedicated to smell, so it is believed that they cannot smell. However, they have a good sense of sight and hearing. They can hear better than dogs and even bats.
7. Killer Whale Sleeps with One Eye Only
Many mistakenly thought the whale's white part was his eyes, but it wasn't. The eyes of killer whales have a location that is not much different from the eyes of other dolphins. And like other dolphins, killer whales cannot fully sleep because they have to rise to the surface to breathe occasionally.
Instead, they sleep with only half of their brain. If the killer whale's left eye is open, it means the right side of the brain is awake and the other is asleep, and vice versa.
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8. Killer Whales are Mammals with the Biggest Spread (Without Counting Humans)
Killer whales can be found in all oceans in the world, in warm and cold waters, even in freezing waters. How can they survive the cold? They have thick layers of fat under their skin, called blubber.
Although their population is large and evenly distributed throughout the ocean and there is no hunting for them on a large scale, this does not guarantee that killer whales will not become extinct. They are susceptible to pollution and their population can also go down if they have trouble finding prey due to pollution.
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Killer whales live long, more than 90 years. Females live longer than males. Killer whales often die of old age or illness.
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10. In the Wild, Killer Whales Never Recorded Killing Humans
No killer whales are known to attack, let alone eat humans in the wild.
While in captivity, another story. Some coaches and sea park officials have been attacked by killer whales, and some of them have been killed. However, scientists claim that this is caused by pressure on the body parts of the killer whale which makes it act aggressively.
The killer pope named Tilikum is known to have killed three different coaches in 1991, 1999 and 2010.