Wild Killer Whales
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Killer Whale FAQs
Orcas aren't whales at all—they are the largest type of dolphin—but they can hunt and eat small whales because of their size. Sailors saw this and called them “whale killers,” Over time, they were called “killer whales.” Check out our Orca Encounter killer whale presentation to learn more.
Female killer whales average 16-19 feet long and can weigh 3,000-8,000 pounds; males average 19-22 feet long and can weigh 8,000 to 12,000 pounds.
A killer whale’s habitat dictates what they eat in the wild, which could include wild fish, crabs, sea turtles, squid, small whales, seals, and even seabirds. You can eat your meal of choice and learn about the world-class food our orcas receive during the Dine with Orcas experience.
Killer whales do hunt and eat great white sharks, and they have been found working in pairs or teams to take down these big predators. Love sharks? We don’t have great whites, but you can interact with and touch smaller sharks during our Up-Close Shark presentation.
“Killer whale” is a scary term, especially when we’re just talking about oversized dolphins. At SeaWorld, we use the correct term, “orca,” as much as possible to destigmatize these beautiful animals. If you’re nervous about meeting an orca, you might be able to practice at our Orca Underwater Viewing Area before your tour.