What do killer whales eat?

Two killer whales in Antarctica © vladsilver/ Shutterstock

Killer whales (also called orcas) are apex predators, meaning they are at the top of their food chain. They feed on fish and squid like other odontocetes (toothed whales) do, but will also target seals, sea birds and even whale species far bigger than themselves.

Killer whales are also the only known predators of great white sharks.

How do killer whales hunt?

Killer whales are the largest dolphin species. They are highly social and spend most of their lives swimming in large pods of family members.

Hunting techniques are passed down through generations, so their diets depend on the region they inhabit and the pod's approach to hunting.

These highly intelligent cetaceans have been documented creating large waves to wash seals off ice floes, and even intentionally beaching themselves to catch prey on the shore.

Read more about what whales eat.

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