What Do Killer Whales Eat?

Killer whales are considered apex predators (able to hunt without fear of being hunted themselves) and are the largest known marine mammals to attack and consume other mammals.

These dolphins (killer whales actually belong to the dolphin family) have quite a diverse diet.

In most cases their diet is largely dependent on the region they live in and the food that lives in their local environment.

The primary diet of most killer whales consists of a variety of fish such as herring, cod, hake and several other small aquatic species.

In some cases they may also eat squid and octopus.

Killer whales that live near land have also been known to attack and eat other marine mammals.

Some of these mammals include seals, sea lions, walruses, penguins, seabirds, sea otters and even whales.

Here’s a list of some of the most interesting foods found in a killer whales stomach:

Killer whales are very intelligent and are well-organized hunters known for using elaborate group oriented hunting techniques to scare, corner and trap their prey so that they can successfully eat it while also minimizing their own risk of being attack or harmed.

One method killer whales use when hunting for food involves a pod of killer whales circling a school of fish and scaring them into a tight ball.

The killer whales then take turns darting in and consuming the petrified fish or in some cases they’ll slam their flukes against the water to stun the fish before attacking and eating them.

When hunting whales killer whales have been seen breaking into several groups in an attempt to separate a pod and then target a single whale (in some cases a young child) by surround it and swimming underneath it to prevent the whale from escaping.

They then take turns biting their prey in an attempt to weaken it until it can no longer fight.

Depending on the whales pod some pods will aggressively fight the killer whales off while others tend to be more passive and less defensive.

At other times killer whales may use stealth to sneak up on a whale before attempting to attack it.

Despite their size these dolphins have been known to attack whales more than twice their size!

When hunting sharks killer whales have been found charging and striking a shark to scare it and bring up it to the surface of the water.

They then slap their flukes against the shark or water in an attempt to flip the shark, which causes the shark to become disoriented and temporarily paralyzed.

Killer whales have also been spotted leaping onto and sliding on ice or sand bars in an attempt to catch marine mammals such as penguins, sea lions and walruses that live on land.

These dolphins have often been referred to as the wolves of the sea due to their unique hunting methods, and some scientists state that their highly intelligent social structure is comparable to the culture of humans and elephants.