Friday, June 5, 2009
Marine Mammals Panel...
This panel focuses on some of the marine life surrounding Vancouver Island with details on their habits.
Killer Whale or Orca (Orcinus orca)
Orcas are the largest member of the dolphin family, and are easily recognized by their large dorsal fin and distinctive black and white pattern.
There are three sub-species of Orcas:
Residents, Transients and Offshore. There are two populations of resident Orcas in British Columbia; the southern and northern residents. The southern population’s range is from Campbell River south to Puget Sound. Resident Orcas travel and live together in matrilineal pods of 4 – 12 whales. They are generally very vocal, with each group has distinctive calls. They feed primarily on fish, especially salmon.
Transient Orcas do not have established territories, and they feed primarily on marine mammals. They travel in silence, small groups of two to six, so they can hunt their prey. The name “Killer Whale” comes from this type of Orca, which is the only species of whale that kills other whales.
Offshore Orcas spend most of their time along the continental shelf west of Vancouver Island, and it is thought that they eat large ocean fish such as shark and halibut.
Also featured on this panel are Stellar Sea Lions, Grey Whales and Humpbacks, which Yim and I have been fortunate enough to be in the water not 100 feet away as they passed us by.
Check put the panel in a larger size here >