One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large toothed whale with distinctive black-and-white markings and a prominent dorsal fin. It lives in groups that cooperatively hunt fish, seals, and penguins.
Orcinus orca, family DelphinidaeAlso called killer whale
- ‘Sharks have not displayed the intelligence that dolphins, orcas or even whales have.’
- ‘Most common are bears, orcas, sea lions, seals, otters, eagles, terns and cormorants.’
- ‘Since 1976, whale expert Ken Balcomb has led what is perhaps the longest running study on killer whales, or orcas.’
- ‘Once those prey dwindled, orcas would settle for the smaller fur seals and aggressive sea lions.’
- ‘Five river dolphin species and 34 oceanic species have been identified, including the orca and melon-headed and pilot whales.’
- ‘That forced orcas, or killer whales, which normally feed on seals and sea lions, to approach the coast and eat the sea otters.’
- ‘The orcas prey on the indigenous Californian sea lions, which are permanent residents off the smaller islands such as Los Islotes, off the remotest corner of Espiritu Santo.’
- ‘The release of 195 decibels into this key waterway used by orcas, porpoises, seals, and other marine mammals was followed by an increase in strandings.’
- ‘Salmon is critical to the diets of grizzly bears and orcas, the researcher stated.’
- ‘Unlike other mammals, newborn dolphins and orcas stay active 24/7 during first months of development’
- ‘‘When the salmon go, the eagles will go, and the orcas will, too,’ Gammon cautions.’
- ‘The prime suspect is a predator new to the otter: the orca.’
- ‘But Balcomb said he is fighting, nonetheless, to prove that sonar is dangerous to orcas too.’
- ‘We take cups of coffee onto the deck to view humpback whales and pods of orcas.’
- ‘Adult orcas have been seen encouraging their young, pushing them onto a ‘practice’ beach where no seals are present.’
- ‘The orcas - like those made famous by the film Free Willy - usually move in large family pods around the North Atlantic, visiting America, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Scotland on their long trek.’
- ‘Then potential menace turned to pure joy as two more orcas joined the first and together they porpoised toward the setting sun.’
- ‘We jump aboard and head out full-throttle until we see a pod of orcas running down a Pacific white-sided dolphin.’
- ‘The area is home to orcas, dolphins, and a wealth of other marine mammals and birds.’
- ‘If you look at dolphins, orcas, and blue whales, all fully aquatic animals, you would have a hard time imagining them walking on land.’
Mid 17th century: from Latin, denoting a kind of whale.
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