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Name: UnnamedBirthday: 02-20-2012
Type: Killer Whale
Rarity: Referral Exclusive
Killer Whales are cetaceans (marine mammals) who belong to the order Delphinidae, which means that they are related to the dolphins they resemble, regardless of the word "whale" in their common name. Killer Whales, or Orcas, are the largest of the dolphins. They are called "Killer Whales" because they feed on several other marine mammals, like seals, dolphins, or even true whales - not because they kill people.
Like all mammals, aquatic or otherwise, the young are born live and are nourished by their mothers' milk until they are weaned. Also like other memmals, they DO have hair, though very little. An Orca's brain is five times larger than a human's, and they have a highly developed vocal communication system. They are very social, intelligent, and curious, living in social groups called "pods" formed of 6 to 40 individuals. Each Killer Whale has a uniquely-shaped mark behind its dorsal fin, and these marks help scientists to distinguish each Killer Whale during research.
The life expectancy of a Killer Whale in the wild is 50 - 60 years for males, and up to 90 years for females - however, captive Orcas typically live less than 30 years. It is only in captivity, with its unnatural pressures and social cues, that human injuries from Orcas have been recorded - as a matter of fact, there are no Orca attacks on humans in the wild on record, and they, like their dolphin cousins, have actually been known to come to the aid of distressed swimmers. Orcas are found in every ocean of the world, with the highest populations in cooler waters.