How Much Do Killer Whales Weigh?
Before we delve into specific numbers and ask, how much do killer whales weigh, we should consider a few factors which influence a killer whale’s weight. The most important factor that we’ll need to examine is age. Like humans, killer whales continue to grow until they reach a state of physical maturity. At this point the whale will have an overall length which shouldn’t change much over the rest of its life.
Killer whales share another characteristic of human growth as well. Both humans and dolphins exhibit sexual dimorphism. This means that male and females of a species will show significant physical differences. This usually shows itself in a difference between a male and female’s length and weight.
Male killer whales are usually significantly larger than females. However, female killer whales typically reach maturity faster than males.
How Big Is A Killer Whale?
Because male killer whales are so much larger than females we’ll look at both individually. An adult male killer whale will usually measure in at around 20 to 26 feet long. (Around 6 to 8 meters.) He will typically weigh around 13,210 lbs. (About 5,992 kg.)
An adult female killer whale will usually measure from 16 to 23 feet in length. (Around 5 to 7 meters.) She’ll usually weigh from around 6,700 lbs to 8,700 lbs. (About 3,039 to 3,946 kg.)
A female killer whale’s dorsal fin is also about half the size of a male’s.
What is the Biggest Killer Whale?
When asking how much do killer whales weigh, we usually look at averages. But what about the biggest of the big? What’s the largest killer whale ever encountered by humans? The record for biggest killer whale currently belongs to a specimen who weighs in at 22,050 lbs. (10,000 kg.)
This huge male measures a full 32 feet (9.8 meters.) in length. That single killer whale weighs more than the combined weight of seven cars.
Above image: To put the length of the largest killer whale into perspective, it would take 9.37 of them to cover the length of a football field.
Most people find that the ocean has a strange appeal. Since humanity’s earliest days on the water we’ve been certain that the open seas hold amazing secrets. Our maps were often marked with sea serpents and warnings of strange monsters. We told tales of ancient civilizations lost beneath the waves. And while we haven’t found sunken continents we most certainly have found our share of breathtaking animals and undersea plants. But few oceanic animals have caught our attention to the extent of the killer whale.
Killer whales are often seen as a mix of opposites. On one hand killer whales are fierce predators. But on the other hand, a killer whale is also a highly social member of the dolphin family.
The killer whale lives in the ocean, and yet it’s an air breathing mammal. But one of the aspects of killer whales that’s always sure to catch people’s attention is its sheer size.
A killer whale, also known as Orca, is the largest known member of the dolphin family.
The killer whale is so large and fierce that it will occasionally even hunt sharks. In fact, the killer whale is the only animal which actively hunts great white sharks. This raises an important question about the killer whale. How big does an animal need to be in order to pose a threat to a great white shark?
Above image: For a large killer whale to cover the length of a soccer field, it would take 9.37 of them length to length.
How Much Do Baby Killer Whales Weigh?
Even baby killer whales weigh in with some impressive numbers. Both male and female killer whales measure about 7.9 feet long at birth. What’s more, they’ll typically weigh about 400 lbs. (180 kg.) Even the youngest baby killer whale is huge in comparison to humans.
A Tale of the Largest Dolphin or Smallest Whale
To understand a killer whale’s size we need to first look at its family tree. This is due to the fact that people often have very different opinions about a killer whale’s size. Some people think of it as a very small representative of its family. Others think that it’s huge. How can people have such a different opinion of the same animal?
The answer comes from the fact that it’s called a whale. Whales aren’t just thought of as large. Whales are the undisputed heavyweights of our planet. A blue whale, for example, can weigh as much as 23 elephants. A killer whale is miniscule in comparison.
The reason for this size difference is that a killer whale’s name is somewhat misleading. A killer whale should really be classified as a dolphin. And it’s easily the largest type of dolphin. However, a very large dolphin is still rather small when compared to something like a blue whale.