Learning About Orcas

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. 

Daisy and Otto Learning about Orcas.jpg

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: 

Squid
Shark
Fish
Turtles
Seals
Beluga
Birds
Walruses
Sea Lion
Gray Whale
Dolphins
Penguins

Even great white sharks are on the menu! 

Daisy and Otto Learning about Orcas for kids

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. 

Daisy and Otto Teaching kids about orcas

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. 

Feel like you know a little more about orcas now? Test your knowledge with this free printable worksheet. Just click the image and print! Then share a picture of it with us on social media @daisyandotto. Don't forget to pick up your copy of the latest Daisy and Otto book.

Daisy and Otto: Chill Out
By Tara Tominaga