Do killer whales have teeth?

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The animal belongs to the suborder of dental whales and has 48 strong teeth and powerful jaws.The teeth of killer whales living in captivity wear out very much due to the fact that they bite metal fences in their pools.Killer whales have a developed nervous system, and their teeth are very large, so the wear of hard tooth tissues can be very painful for them.

What zone do killer whales live in?

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What area of the ocean do killer whales live in? Orcas, or killer whales, are most commonly found in coastal waters less than 250 meters deep. The upper layers of the ocean up to 250 meters are known as the solar zone because the sun ‘s light is able to penetrate that zone.

Why are orcas called killer whales

Killer whale name

The killer whale received the English name killer whale in the 18th century due to an incorrect translation of the Spanish name killer whale – asesina ballenas (“whale killer”).

Unfair name
Orca eats fish

Orcinus orca is an unfair and ill nickname – “killer whale.” It is true that the killer whale is an ocean cetacean predator that kills and eats prey. Just like a dolphin kills a fish to eat it, or a cat kills a bird before it eats it. However, we never heard anyone call a dolphin or a cat a killer.

Whaler Stories

Sailors of Spanish whaling ships of the 18th century have repeatedly watched killer whales hunt humpbacks, sperm whales and other whales. Killer whales used a kind of collective planned attack and drove the entire pack of whales who were chosen as the victim, preferably those with cubs.

The main task of one group of killer whales was to exhaust the female whale by chasing and crush the cubs with mass in order to drown and prevent them from breathing. Other killer whales at this time attacked the male whale to prevent him from protecting the cubs. Usually, the cub died as a result of drowning, in some cases the killer whales stopped chasing the female and feathered on the carcass of the cub, or, conversely, everything ended with the mother dying, bleeding.

Watching this cruel hunt, Spanish whalers nicknamed the ruthless killer whales “asesina ballenas,” which means “whale killer” or simply “killer.” The English definition was not applied literally, and instead the word order was changed to “killer whales” instead of “whale killer,” which would be the correct translation of the original definition of Spanish whalers.

Sailors of Spanish whaling ships of the 18th century watched killer whales hunt humpbacks, sperm whales and other whales
Sailors of Spanish whaling vessels of the 18th century
Killer whale morphology

Killer whale is the largest oceanic representative of the dolphin family. Males up to 9 m long and weighing up to 5.5 tons. Females are smaller, about 7.7 m, and weigh about 3.8 tons.

Despite their gigantic size, they have a hydrodynamic body shape, which allows you to swim at high speeds (40 km/h) during the pursuit of mining.

The huge dorsal fin and the characteristic combination of only two colors, black and white, do not allow confusing adult killer whales with any other marine animals.

Types of killer whales

There are three ecotypes of killer whales: “resident,” “transit” and “marine.”

  • Resident killer whales live in a certain area near the coast and their migration occurs over short distances. The dorsal fin is curved and has a rounded tip. They live in large groups (up to 60 individuals) and feed mainly on fish and squid.
  • Transit killer whales are migratory individuals moving long distances along the coast. Their flocks are small groups of less than 10 individuals. They feed mainly on marine mammals: seals, sea lions, etc. These killer whales are characterized by triangular and pointed dorsal fins.
  • Marine killer whales live about 20 km and further from the coast, forming large flocks of up to 75 individuals. Their main food is sharks, even a formidable white shark. Whales are also part of their diet. These killer whales are somewhat smaller than representatives of the other two groups. The dorsal fin also has a rounded tip. These killer whales migrate thousands of kilometers.

Killer whales live in all oceans, and it is interesting that each flock makes different sounds, as if communicating in different languages. Killer whales, despite belonging to the same species, do not often change the social group, these are animals that are especially attached to each other

Killer whale intelligence

Killer whales are considered one of the smartest marine mammals. They have a very large brain that they use productively.

They are able to enter the maze of complex fishing traps to catch tuna inside the trap, and then get out of the trap again. Dolphins (also very intelligent animals) are not capable of such a feat.

Living in large aquariums, killer whales easily learn the tricks that they are taught. However, it is life in captivity that contributes to the hostile and unfriendly behavior of killer whales.

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Killer whale isn ‘t the only whale with teeth. Bellows, sperm, and leguminous whales also have teeth, as well as dolphins and piglets. The killer whale is the largest member of the dolphin family.

Orca whale teeth

The prevalence of orca teeth and their value in the world

Whale teeth (ivory) from the orca and various other marine animals are widespread. If the ivory has been carved by design, the process is called scrimshaw, they can cost much more, depending on quality and age, as well as origin, etc.

The number of marine mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and other animals living in the oceans decreased by 49% between 1970 and 2010. This is stated in the Living Blue Planet Report, prepared by the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London, which assesses the state of the ecosystems of the world’s oceans.

The smaller the supply of marine raw materials, the higher the price. Therefore, products can often be seen at auctions with a high cost. Incidentally, Orca products are valued as ivory.

At the same time, the economies of a large number of countries are largely dependent on the health of the ocean and its resources. About 10-12% of the world’s population live on fisheries and aquaculture. For 3 billion people, fish and seafood are the main source of animal protein.

Orca fishing is prohibited by law around the world. You can’t catch them. The ecosystem must recover itself. But this process is very slow.

Ivory is used all over the world. Figurines are made of it, various jewelry and souvenirs are carved.

Previously, opium tubes (English), covers of sacred books, consular diptychs and other works of art were made from ivory. There are references to the fact that the ancient Greeks made statues from ivory, but even fragments of these works of art did not reach us, perhaps they were made of wood and only covered with ivory

The popularity of species of hard nuts as replacements for ivory is increasing, although their sizes limit the scope of application. Sometimes called plant ivory, tagua nuts Phytelephas, in significant volumes growing in the coastal rain forests of Ecuador, Peru and Colombia.


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(The big teeth of a conical-shaped killer whale are interconnected. Toothed whales have one set of teeth. After the loss, the new ones don ‘t grow.
The number of teeth may vary. Usually only 40 — 56 teeth. The touch teeth are adapted to capture prey and tear their food into smaller pieces.
Teeth are up to 13 cm long and about 3 cm in diameter. Extensive wear and tear has been observed on the teeth of older individuals, which corresponds to their diet.)

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