Killer whales have streamlined, black and white bodies. They are black on the dorsal surface, white extends from the bottom of the chin to just beyond the anus on the ventral surface. There is also a white spot above the eye. In both sexes there is a "saddle spot" which is a grey spot behind the dorsal fin on the back. In calves, their black is somewhat grey up to a year old. Also, the white on the calf's underside has a yellow tint to it until they reach 1 year old. The average length for a male adult is 8 m, with the maximum length at 9.75 m. The average length in females is 7 m with a maximum length of 8.5 m. Newborn calves are from 2 to 2.4 m long and weigh about 136 kg at birth. The average weight for a male killer whale is 7200 kg. Female average body size and weight is slightly smaller than that of males. In males, the erect dorsal fin can reach up to 1.8 m high; in females and immature males this dorsal fin is only about 0.9 m high. This fin curves over either to the right or left side.
Average mass: 7200 kg.
Range length: 9.75 (high) m.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: male larger
Average mass: 3.9875e+06 g.
- Watson, L. 1981. Whales of the World. New York, New York: Elsevier-Dutton Publishing Company.