KIller Whales in the Gerlache Strait, Antarctica

Once I was giving a lecture on whales when the Captain suddenly announced “Killer Whales on starboard side.” Never have I seen a theater clear so rapidly!

Everyone loves these creatures except, of course, the seals which they feed on.

Killer Whales (also called Orcas) travel in groups or “pods.”

The Killer Whales near the Antarctic Peninsula belong to the “Type B” category and they prey mainly on seals.

Males have a taller, straighter dorsal fin.

Killer Whales breathe frequently but can stay under water for up to 17 minutes.

They can reach depths of about 260 meters.

In addition to seals, they will take fish, squid, penguins and other seabirds.

Pods contain adults of both genders but the oldest female is usually dominant.

Killer Whales breed about once in every 5 years.

It takes about one year to 18 months for a calf to reach adulthood.

Some pods can number up to 100 individuals.

February 19, 2017

Miles Hearn

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