Orca, jumping upside-down.Orca range (in blue)
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Killer Whale

The Orca (Orcinus orca), also known as the Killer Whale, is the largest member of the oceanic dolphin family. It is the second-most widely distributed mammal on Earth (after humans) and is found in all the world's oceans. more...

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It is also a versatile predator, eating fish, turtles, birds, seals, sharks and even other juvenile and small cetaceans. This puts the Orca at the pinnacle of the marine food chain. The orca also attacks other whales, in particular Gray Whales.

The name "killer whale" reflects the animal's reputation as a magnificent and fearsome sea mammal that goes as far back as Pliny the Elder's description of the species. Today it is recognized that the Orca is neither a whale (except in the broad sense that all cetaceans are whales) nor a danger to humans. No attack on a human by an Orca in the wild has ever been recorded. There have, however, been isolated reports of captive Orcas attacking their handlers at marine theme parks.

A former name for the species is Grampus. This is now seldom used and should not be confused with the Grampus genus (containing Risso's Dolphin).

Naming

The name "Orca" (plural "Orcas") was originally given to these animals by the ancient Romans, possibly borrowed from the Greek word ὄρυξ which (among other things) referred to a species of whale.

The name "killer whale" is widely used in common English. However since the 1960s "orca" has steadily grown in popularity as the common name to identify the species and is now more popular than the traditional name amongst those in the field.

There are several reasons for the change. First, having the word whale in the name of a species that is really a dolphin causes confusion. Second, the species is called orca in most other European languages and, as there has been a steady increase in the amount of international research on the species, there has been a convergence in naming.

Furthermore, the killer in "killer whale" is often wrongly assumed to imply that the creature is a killer of humans, an attitude amplified by an unfortunate movie seeking to capitalize from the buzz from Jaws (1975). Orca: The Killer Whale (1977) starred Richard Harris and Bo Derek. It is thought this long standing and often fearful reputation can be put to rest by using the more neutral name of orca.

A pod of Orcas is capable of taking down a large whale. It is commonly thought that 18th-century Spanish sailors dubbed these creatures asesina-ballenas, or "whale killer" for this reason. However, this title was improperly translated into English as "killer whale". The term became so prevalent that Spanish speakers commonly used its retranslation of ballena asesina. This practice has further strengthened the case for using orca.

There are still many who prefer the original name, believing it to be an appropriate description of a species that does indeed kill many animals, including other cetaceans. These supporters of the original name point out that the naming heritage is not limited to Spanish sailors. Indeed the genus name "Orcinus" means "from Hell" (see Orcus) and although the name "orca" (in use since antiquity) is probably not etymologically related, the assonance might have given some people the idea that it means "whale that brings death," or "demon from hell."

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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Starbucks Rare Seattle Orca, Space needle, 2015 Quebec cardsStarbucks Rare Seattle Orca, Space needle, 2015 Quebec cards $3.00 Café Orca Insulated Stainless Steel Chaser Cup Coffee Tumbler Hot Cooler SilverCafé Orca Insulated Stainless Steel Chaser Cup Coffee Tumbler Hot Cooler Silver $63.99
Thickest & Tuffest Lid Wrap for Orca 20qt Cooler 24mils Orca Redfish WoodThickest & Tuffest Lid Wrap for Orca 20qt Cooler 24mils Orca Redfish Wood $27.95 Hitech battery(Japan2.1A)For Tait Orca E./Excel 5000.Ge/Macom/Panther 400P.Hitech battery(Japan2.1A)For Tait Orca E./Excel 5000.Ge/Macom/Panther 400P. $36.00
Starbucks Seahawks 2015 12th man,Orca,Humu, Hawaii Hula cards (5)Starbucks Seahawks 2015 12th man,Orca,Humu, Hawaii Hula cards (5) $4.99 Orca 24mil Wrap for Orca 20qt Cooler Lid Kit Skin Accessory Redfish WdOrca 24mil Wrap for Orca 20qt Cooler Lid Kit Skin Accessory Redfish Wd $27.95
Old World Christmas Orca Whale Glass Blown Ornament NewOld World Christmas Orca Whale Glass Blown Ornament New $13.09 Shamu Killer Whale Sea World Adventure Parks Magnet, Travel, Souvenir, FridgeShamu Killer Whale Sea World Adventure Parks Magnet, Travel, Souvenir, Fridge $5.88
Cuts Like a Knife (Orca Soundings)-ExLibraryCuts Like a Knife (Orca Soundings)-ExLibrary $11.56 Orca Killer Whale Swim Fabric Printed By Spoonflower BtyOrca Killer Whale Swim Fabric Printed By Spoonflower Bty $17.50 to $34.00
2508 Killer Whale Fdc - House Of Farnam Cachet2508 Killer Whale Fdc - House Of Farnam Cachet $0.99 orbea orca gold carbon fiber road bike largeorbea orca gold carbon fiber road bike large $1,899.00
Orca Chaser 27 oz. Tumbler with Sealed Body | Black & Gold Team ChaserOrca Chaser 27 oz. Tumbler with Sealed Body | Black & Gold Team Chaser $24.99 Trending at $34.17 Free Willy 1993 Pg family movie, new Dvd in handle case with book, orca, whaleFree Willy 1993 Pg family movie, new Dvd in handle case with book, orca, whale $9.99
Orbea Orca road bike with full Sram Force, size 54Orbea Orca road bike with full Sram Force, size 54 $900.00 Orca Tie by Animal Tracks - Euc - Novelty Necktie.Orca Tie by Animal Tracks - Euc - Novelty Necktie. $16.95
Orca Cooler Chaser Tumbler w/Lid Stainless Steel 27 oz Truck Center NewOrca Cooler Chaser Tumbler w/Lid Stainless Steel 27 oz Truck Center New $21.00 Barbie Seaworld Set - water play with doll, orca, dolphin, sealBarbie Seaworld Set - water play with doll, orca, dolphin, seal $9.99
Learning the Ropes (Orca Limelights)Learning the Ropes (Orca Limelights) $3.99 Mosaic Orca Shamu Whale Tile Pool Walk Drive Way Walls Bars Counter Bath ShowerMosaic Orca Shamu Whale Tile Pool Walk Drive Way Walls Bars Counter Bath Shower $456.00 to $795.00
Automotive Touchup Paint for Audi (Lc9X Orca Black Metallic)Automotive Touchup Paint for Audi (Lc9X Orca Black Metallic) $12.99 to $29.98 Killer Whales-ExLibraryKiller Whales-ExLibrary $3.99
global journey orca reflections cdglobal journey orca reflections cd $1.25 Sea World Mascot * Shamoo Killer Whale with baby Plush DollSea World Mascot * Shamoo Killer Whale with baby Plush Doll $9.95
31" Big Killer Whale Lifelike Stuffed Cute Animal Soft Plush Doll Boy Girl Gift31" Big Killer Whale Lifelike Stuffed Cute Animal Soft Plush Doll Boy Girl Gift $26.79 Afloat Training Group Pacific Northwest Killer Whale Cpo Chief Challenge CoinAfloat Training Group Pacific Northwest Killer Whale Cpo Chief Challenge Coin $19.99
Lego Orca Minifigure - Brand New - The Batman Movie Collectible SeriesLego Orca Minifigure - Brand New - The Batman Movie Collectible Series $7.95 Lot Of 2 Men's Wilson Killer Whale Mid Sized 10.5 Driver & Os 20 degree 5 WoodLot Of 2 Men's Wilson Killer Whale Mid Sized 10.5 Driver & Os 20 degree 5 Wood $29.99
Orca Killer Whale Walrus Otter Penguins Set of 5 Nesting Dolls, Ocean, Sea LifeOrca Killer Whale Walrus Otter Penguins Set of 5 Nesting Dolls, Ocean, Sea Life $29.99 Press Photo 6,000 lb. Killer whale with trainer - Ksg04007Press Photo 6,000 lb. Killer whale with trainer - Ksg04007 $9.99
Orca Chasertini Stainless Steel Tumbler 8 Ounce Martini Glass Shaker Wild EyeOrca Chasertini Stainless Steel Tumbler 8 Ounce Martini Glass Shaker Wild Eye $69.99 O Is for Orca: A Nature Alphabet Book by Andrea Helman Board Books Book (EnglishO Is for Orca: A Nature Alphabet Book by Andrea Helman Board Books Book (English $9.64
Killer Whale Orca Washington Travel PinKiller Whale Orca Washington Travel Pin $6.39 Was: Previous Price $7.99 Aurora black & white Orca Whale Beanie Plush. 9.5" ToyAurora black & white Orca Whale Beanie Plush. 9.5" Toy $5.99
Orca Cooler Wrap Skin Decal 24 mil for Orca 20qt Lid Orca Redfish WoodOrca Cooler Wrap Skin Decal 24 mil for Orca 20qt Lid Orca Redfish Wood $27.95 Knifepoint (Orca Soundings)Knifepoint (Orca Soundings) $3.99
slightly used Sea World Killer Whale plush 6" long stuffed animalslightly used Sea World Killer Whale plush 6" long stuffed animal $3.00 Blob (Orca Currents)Blob (Orca Currents) $7.93
Native Orca acrylic painting signed and sold by artistNative Orca acrylic painting signed and sold by artist $4.99 Skin Decal Wrap 24mil for Orca 20qt Cooler Lid sticker Redfish Orca WoodSkin Decal Wrap 24mil for Orca 20qt Cooler Lid sticker Redfish Orca Wood $27.95
New Cowichan Salish Killer Whale Orca Earrings totem designed by Joe WilsonNew Cowichan Salish Killer Whale Orca Earrings totem designed by Joe Wilson $19.50 Cut the Lights (Orca Limelights)Cut the Lights (Orca Limelights) $3.99
El que Diran (Orca Soundings) (Spanish Edition) (Spanish Soundings)-ExLibraryEl que Diran (Orca Soundings) (Spanish Edition) (Spanish Soundings)-ExLibrary $4.95 Orca Whale Figurine Free Willy Rubber Vintage Toy 2" Long Black & White.Orca Whale Figurine Free Willy Rubber Vintage Toy 2" Long Black & White. $3.00
Canada #1173(2) 1988 57 cent Wild Animals - Killer Whale MnhCanada #1173(2) 1988 57 cent Wild Animals - Killer Whale Mnh $1.13 24mil Wrap for Orca 20qt Cooler Lid Kit Skin Accessory Redfish Wood24mil Wrap for Orca 20qt Cooler Lid Kit Skin Accessory Redfish Wood $27.95
Sea World Ca Postcard "Kissed By a Killer" Shamu the Whale San Diego c1960sSea World Ca Postcard "Kissed By a Killer" Shamu the Whale San Diego c1960s $5.25 Was: Previous Price $7.50
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Prices current as of last update, 06/23/17 4:20pm.

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