Orcas, sometimes called killed whales, are often referred to as the wolves of the sea. These are highly intelligent animals who live and hunt in tight knit groups called pods.
Hungry, hungry orcas.
Orcas hunt a large variety of prey including fish, walruses, seals, penguins, sharks, and more. They certainly aren't picky eaters if you know what we mean. In fact, orcas sometimes even eat other whales! This is where the name killer whale likely comes from. Back when whale hunting was a popular practice, sailors and whalers would call orcas 'whale killers,' which likely flipped over time. This fierce image also likely has something to do with the wide ranging diet of the orca. They can eat around 500 pounds a day! Here's a more in-depth list of things an orca might eat:
Even great white sharks are on the menu!
Why are orcas called the wolves of the sea?
Orcas live in very close family groups that function much like a pack of wolves. Sometimes pods work together to herd fish into a tight ball, making them easier to eat. They have also been known to work together to wash seals off of ice floes or wear down a larger animal like a whale.
Orcas are black and white for a reason.
Orcas have a very distinctive color pattern. Their black backs may help them camouflage themselves or blend in with the water when seen from above. Then, when viewing from the bottom, their white bellies may help them to blend in with the sunlight above. Blending in with their surroundings is important for orcas to hunt effectively. Orcas' intelligence, teamwork, and camouflage make them one of the ocean's top predators.
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