The Weight of a Killer Whale

The black and white killer whale is one of the most recognizable whales. They are massive yet they move through the water gracefully. When they launch themselves above the water it looks effortless and they sail as much as 10 feet above the surface and then turn and reenter.

The Orca is a mesmerizing sea creature that we often mention, but, few of us really know much about them.

Why don’t we take a journey into their life and world and see if we can learn something interesting about these 

How Much Does A Killer Whale Weigh?

Killer Whale on the sea

These are large marine animals that weigh between 6,600 and 16,000 pounds when they get completely grown.

You may not realize that the Orca is a part of the dolphin family.

The males grow to lengths of 30 feet and they have a dorsal fin that is up to 6 feet in length. That fin makes them easy to identify.

The females are a little smaller. They do not get more than about 25 feet long and their dorsal is shorter, but they are still impressive.

These creatures live to be 60 on average, but there are records of females who lived to be 90.

They can dive to depths of 1000 feet and reach swimming speeds of up to 30 mph.

How Much Do Killer Whales Weigh At Birth?

These creatures do not mate until they are between 15 and 21 years of age. Once impregnated the female will carry the infant for 17 months before giving birth.

At birth, the infant is about 8.5 feet in length and weighs between 260 and 350 pounds!

The Orca always has a single calf and does not have twins or multiples.

For the first year of their life, the babies primarily get all of their food and nutrients from nursing. At first, they do not venture too far away from their mom, but as they grow they swim farther away from her.

At the end of the first year, they will be close to 11 feet in length and they will have gained enough weight to weigh about a half of a tone.

Where They Live

Two killer whales in the ocean

There have been Orcas found in every ocean.

They are called whales but they are not whales they are part of the dolphin family.

They are referred to as killers but the only times when it seems that one of these creatures was about to attack a human the aggression and attack ceased when the whale realized its prey was actually a human.

There was an instance when a trainer as a water par exhibit was pulled beneath the water by one of these whales and the trainer died. It is unclear whether the whale intended to kill the trainer or not.

The male babies are likely to stay with their moms for the rest of their lives, or until their mom passes. Mom helps protect them from rogue males. They live in family groups called pods. The offspring of the male children leave to live in other pods.

The females will only give birth about once every three years.


There are only three known species that reach an age where they go through menopause and lose the ability to reproduce.

Those three species are Orca whales, short-finned pilot whales, and human beings.

What They Eat

Orcas eat fish, seals, sea birds, and squid. When stomach contents of some of these animals have been looked at it was discovered that they eat reptiles, polar bears, dolphins, sharks and other aquatic and non-aquatic creatures.

They have even been known to take down other whales, even whales that are bigger than they are.

There have been reports of them killing things like deer and moose swimming in the water.

Did You Know

  • These animals have been known to attack boats by ramming into them.
  • Humans are the only real predator these creatures have to worry about.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are They Called Killer Whales?

This comes from their Latin name. It has nothing to do with the behavior or characteristics of the animal.

How Fast Can The Killer Whale Swim?

They can reach speeds of up to 35 mph.

How Far Out Of The Water Can The Killer Wale Jump?

They can get 10 to 15 feet about the water surface.

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