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The Orca Whale or “Killer” Whale is the largest member of the dolphin family. This toothed whale has a black body with white patches on its underside and near its eyes. Researchers use these markings and dorsal fin characteristics to identify them in the wild.
Orca Whales are highly social, and as you can see in the Map of Orca Habitat, adaptable to different climates. Orcas are found in all of the oceans of the world, but most commonly in the Arctic, Antarctic and the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Canada and the USA. They are big travelers, and have been known to travel up to 2,000 km
Orcas establish a hierarchy system. led by females, within their very large pods. They have also developed intricate communications and researchers have discovered, different dialects between the pods.
An Orca Whale’s dorsal fin is very flexible when they are born. The dorsal fin stiffens as they get older, and sometimes has a folded look.
Orca Whales can often be seen off the west coast of Canada and the USA as they are traveling through. Sometimes you may even see them when traveling by ferry or boat, as they often pass through the Juan de Fuca islands.
There are multiple whale watching tour companies, we advise you to research the company to ensure they operate ethically.