The orca, sometimes call a killer whale,  is a toothed whale that is an efficient predator, even attacking huge young blue whales and other large whales. Their only enemy is human beings. Orcas live in small, close-knit, life-long pods and have 1 blowhole. They belong to the family of dolphins and are the biggest of the species.   They are sometimes referred to as the “wolves of the sea” because their behavior is similar to that of wolves, hunting together and working as a pack.  Orcas grow to be about 27-33 feet long, weighing more than 8,000-12,000 pounds . The male orca is larger than the female. 
Orcas are efficient hunters that eat a very diverse diet of fish, squid, sharks, marine mammals (including whales and seals), turtles, octopuses, and birds (penguins and gulls). They have 10-13 pairs of large, interlocking conical, enameled teeth distributed in both the upper and lower jaws (for a total of 20 to 26 pairs, from 40 to 52 teeth). The teeth curve inwards and backwards – this helps the orca catch and hold its prey. Teeth average about 3 inches (7.6 cm) long and about 1 inch in diameter, but some are even longer.  An average-sized orca will eat 551 pounds of food a day. Photo courtesy of Tom Haight.

If you are in the park, visit the life-sized painting of an orca on our Whale Walk.