Have you ever wanted to control a virtual killer whale on your computer using your mouse cursor?
Well here is a cool website that we found of a digital killer whale that follows your computer mouse as you move it around the screen. Check out the virtual dolphin on this website.
Just don’t get too distracted playing around with the killer whale 🙂
In the mean time here’s some other cool stuff you may not know about killer whales (aka Orcas).
Why Killer Whales Are So Cool
Although Orcas are commonly referred to as killer whales these marine mammals are part of the dolphin family.
The reason these animals were given the name “killer whale” is because they are the largest of the dolphin family and as large as some whale species.
In fact some Orca can grow as long as 32 ft and weigh up to 10 tons when they are fully grown, however most Orca measure in at around 16 – 26 ft. and weigh 3,000 – 12,000 lbs. depending on their sex (male or female) and diet.
The other part of the name (killer) has to do with the fact that Orca are one of the only species of cetacea (other than the false killer whale) known to hunt other marine mammals for food.
In addition to hunting fish, sharks, octopus and squid some Orca are also known to hunt other marine mammals and animals such as sea otters, seals, sea lions, seabirds, whales and even other dolphin species.
Orca that are largely surrounded by marine mammals may choose to hunt them as their primary source of food while Orca that are surrounded by fish and squid may choose to hunt these types of marine animals instead.
As a species killer whales are very social and family oriented and will hunt for food, travel, play and sleep together with up to four generations of family members living in a single pod.
Because Orca are marine mammals they are warm-blood, give birth to their young, produce milk and breathe air.
This is very different from fish and other marine animals that are cold-blooded, produce eggs and breathe through several sets of gills.
Other differences between killer whales and fish include the fact that killer whales can drown underwater while fish can suffocate above water, and while killer whales have spines designed to move up and down to propel themselves through the water fish move their bodies horizontally like a snake to propel themselves forward and run water over their gills so that they can breathe.
Lifestyle and Habitat
In terms of location the Orca is a widely distributed species of dolphin that can be found traveling throughout all of the worlds major oceans from the tropical climates around the equator to the freezing waters near the polar hemispheres.
These marine mammals are known to inhibit both the coastal and offshore waters of various environments and often base their diet on the most abundant food sources in their habitat.
When it comes to migration patterns Orca aren’t known to follow any particular routes, instead they are often found migrating with their food supply in order to make sure that they have an abundant food source at all times.
Aside from the Orca there are around 40+ other known species of dolphin inhibiting the worlds oceans today.
killer whales and entertainment
Although controlling a killer whale with your mouse cursor can be very entertaining we throughout you might also like to learn about other ways you can interact with and observe killer whales.
From the earliest of times killer whales have always fascinated people.
They have been considered gods and deities, the reincarnations of family members, fearsome beasts that dominate the ocean and intelligent and friendly marine animals.
In more recent years killer whales have been featured in films such as free willy, Orca, blackfish and Namu.
They have also been featured in tons of online flash games that can be found by doing a quick search for killer whale games and 100’s of toys of have been created in the image of killer whales.
If you’d like to see killer whales in real life you can sign up for a local whale watching tour where they can be observed living in the wild.
In addition to whale watching tours there are a number of marine parks and aquariums that feature events showcasing killer whales.
Once again if you would like to watch a killer whale follow your computer mouse be sure to check out this link.
10 Things you may not know about killer whales
1) Killer whales have one of the longest pregnancy periods as it can take up to 17 months for a female killer whale to give birth.
2) Despite being called “killer whales” this marine mammal belongs to the dolphin family.
3) In addition to being known as killer whales these marine mammals are also sometimes referred to as Orca or Blackfish.
4) In the wild killer whales have an average lifespan of 30 – 70 years with females living approximately 20 years longer than their male counterparts.
In captivity however their average lifespan is reduced significantly and these marine mammals rarely live past their early 20’s.
5) Killer whales are able to search for prey and navigate the ocean using echolocation.
5) The killer whale is the largest animal in the dolphin family with the largest killer whales growing to lengths of over 30 ft. long.
7) Killer whales are one of the most effective hunter in the world and will work as a highly coordinated group to capture their prey.
8) The killer whale is an apex predator meaning they have no predators of their own and do not have to worry about being hunted.
9) Depending on the killer whales diet and age these marine mammals can consume anywhere from 2% – 10% of their body weight in food daily.
10) These marine mammals are one of the most widely distributed animals in the world and can be found in all of the major oceans of the world.