Why are orcas known as killer whales?

You have certainly heard that orcas are killer whales. However, this is nothing more than a big mess! Eskimos were the first to fear these animals, thanks to the violent way they hunted in the sea at the North Pole.

In addition, an American film called ‘Orca, the Killer Whale’, produced in the 1970s, was responsible for further disseminating this idea, which still persists in the popular imagination.

The truth is that orcas don’t attack humans, except when they feel threatened. Moreover, orcas are not even whales! The differences are striking: although they belong to the same family of marine mammals and communicate through the emission of sounds, both are distinguished by different characteristics.

Photo: depositphotos

Differences between oscas and whales

– Orcas have 50 teeth, while whales have a sort of sieve in their mouth;
– The bodies of all orcas are the same: they have a white belly and spots on the side of the body, around the eyes. Whales, on the other hand, have different characteristics since there are more than 17 known species;
– The size is also different: the orca reaches 10 meters and can weigh up to 10 tons, while whales can reach 34 meters and 150 tons!

Learn more about the orcas

Now that you know that orcas are not killers, it’s time to find out what makes these marine animals so special. Starting with intelligence.

They have an incredible ability to learn from humans and that is why they are great stars in shows that use animals, like the SeaWorld park in Orlando. In this place, the orcas and dolphins show off at presentations with the coaches and attract thousands of tourists to the stands.

This type of captivity is highly questioned by biologists and environmentalists, as animals, like the orca, can feel stressed and become violent. In a recent episode, an orca attacked its trainer during a performance in the United States, leading to her death.

The motivation for this accident was ostensibly debated by experts who believe that the orca did it because it is stressed in a captive environment or because it takes the game so seriously and does not have the dimension of its strength.

Despite this isolated fact, marine life scholars reaffirm: orcas are not a human threat. However, man must respect the natural habitat of marine animals, including orcas. They are very docile, fun and exhibitionist, as long as they are not threatened.

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