Killer whale mortality rate varies with the age of the animal. Neonatal mortality is very high, in captivity neonatal mortality is between 37% and 50%. The reason for these high mortality rates is unknown, but predation is not considered a primary threat during this time. After six months, mortality rates steadily decline as killer whales learn how to protect and nourish themselves. Mortality rates are said to be the lowest around 12 to 13 years in males and 20 years in females. The average lifespan for a female in the wild is around 63 years, with a maximum of 80 to 90 years. Male life expectancy is a bit shorter, with the average lifespan being around 36 years, with a maximum of 50 to 60 years.
Status: wild: 90 (females) 60 (males) (high) years.
Status: wild: 63 (females) 36 (males) (high) years.
- de Magalhaes, J., J. Costa, O. Toussaint. 2005. "HAGR: Human Ageing Genomic Resources" (On-line). Accessed December 01, 2008 at http://genomics.senescence.info/species/entry.php?species=Orcinus_orca.