Orca/Killer Whale Size Explained & Compared With Others

Last Updated on April 11, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Orca Length

Orca size

The orca, also known as a killer whale, is the largest member of the oceanic dolphin family and is a toothed whale. 

Because some species prey on other whales, killer whales have earned their common name. 

They used to be called “whale killers” by sailors who saw them attack larger cetaceans. The term “killer whale” gradually replaced the original name over time.

Also, they are known for their distinctive black and white coloration and their large size, and they are one of the most powerful predators in the sea. 

Adult male orcas can reach lengths of up to 32 feet and weigh up to 6 tonnes, while females are typically smaller, reaching lengths of up to 28 feet and weighing up to 3 to 4 tonnes.

OrcaLength
Average Male6 to 8 meters (20 to 26 ft)
Average Female5 to 7 meters (16 to 23 ft)

Orca Weight

Orcas are known for their intelligence and their ability to communicate and cooperate with one another, and they are also known for their hunting abilities. 

Additionally, Orcas, also known as killer whales, are known to have a large appetite, as they are top predators in the ocean and need to consume a significant amount of food to support their large size. 

Orcas are opportunistic feeders and will hunt a wide variety of prey, including fish, seals, sea lions, squid, and even large whales.

If you are wondering what its weight is, then let me tell you that the average weight of Orcas or killer whales is about 3,628 to 5,442 kg (8,000 to 12,000 lbs) and their maximum weight can reach up to as heavy as 16,000 pounds. 

Tiger SharkWeight 
Average size3,628 to 5,442 kg (8,000 to 12,000 lbs)
Maximum size16,000 pounds

Orca Teeth Size

Apart from their general size in terms of length and weight, have you ever wondered what could be the teeth size of such massive creatures? 

Orca teeth are also highly specialized for their diet, which consists mainly of marine mammals such as seals, sea lions, and other whales. The teeth are sharp and conical in shape and are arranged in a distinctive pattern in the jaws.

Orcas have teeth that can be up to 3 – 3.75 inches (9.5 cm) long. However, the size of their teeth can vary depending on the age and sex of the animal. 

Female orcas tend to have smaller teeth than males. They use their large and powerful teeth to grasp and hold onto their prey, and also to tear off chunks of flesh to eat.

Also, you would be shocked to know that Orcas have anywhere from 40 to 56 interlocking teeth, which is quite less for such a large species. 1

Orca Brain Size

Orcas are known for their high intelligence and are considered one of the most intelligent animals in the world. 

They have a well-developed brain structure that is similar to that of humans and other intelligent mammals, with a large prefrontal cortex and a highly developed hippocampus, which are regions of the brain associated with complex thought, decision-making, and learning. 

Orcas are also highly social animals and have complex systems of communication and social behavior.

In terms of actual size, Orcas have a brain size that is similar to that of humans and other large mammals. The average brain mass of an orca is about 15 pounds (7 kg), which is about 0.15% of its body mass. These animals have the second largest brain size. 

Baby Orca Size

Adult Orcas are known for their massive size and body structure, but what about their young ones? 

Baby orcas, also known as calves, are born at a size of about 8.5 to 8.8 feet (2.6 to 2.7 meters) long and weigh around 400 to 500 pounds (180 to 230 kilograms). 

Orcas are known for their large size and are among the largest species of dolphins. Adult orcas can grow to be more than 30 feet (9 meters) long and weigh up to 6 tons (5,443 kilograms). Orcas are highly social animals and live in groups called pods, which can include up to dozens of individuals. 

Orca Size Comparison To Human

Orca size compared with human

If we look at the size of the Orcas or commonly known as killer whales from a different perspective, they are much larger than average adult humans. 

Adult orcas can grow to be more than 16-26 ft long and weigh up to 6 metric tons (13,000 pounds). 

In comparison, the average height of an adult human is about 5.5 to 5.9 feet and the average weight is around 132 to 176 pounds (60 to 80 kgs). Orcas are among the largest species of dolphins and are known for their size and strength.  

Imagine standing behind an orca, it might feel the same way as a mouse standing in front of you!

Animal type LengthWeight 
Orcas16-26 ft6 metric tons (13,000 pounds)
Average adult human 5.5 to 5.9 feet132 to 176 pounds (60 to 80 kgs)

Orca Size Comparison Great White Shark

Orca size compared with great white shark

Orcas are dolphins and live in close proximity with other ocean creatures such as the sharks. So, how different are these compared to each other? 

Orcas are among the largest species of dolphins and are known for their size and strength. 

Great white sharks, on the other hand, are known for their powerful jaws and sharp teeth, which they use to hunt and eat a variety of prey, including seals, sea lions, and other marine animals.

Orcas are generally larger than great white sharks. Adult orcas can grow to be more than 16-26 ft long and weigh up to 6 metric tons (13,000 pounds), while great white sharks typically reach lengths of 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 meters) and weigh around 680 and 1,800 kg (1,500 and 4,000 pounds).

Animal type LengthWeight 
Orcas16-26 ft6 metric tons (13,000 pounds)
Great white shark11-20 feet (3.3-6 meters) 680 and 1,800 kg (1,500 and 4,000 pounds)

Orca Size Compared To Blue Whale

Orca size compared with blue whale

Orcas, also known as killer whales, and blue whales are both intelligent and complex animals that deserve respect and protection. 

Orcas are known for their hunting abilities and are at the top of their food chain in the marine environment, while blue whales are the largest animals on Earth and are generally not aggressive. 

The two ocean species, however, are very different in terms of size. Blue whales are the largest animals on Earth and can grow to lengths of up to 29.9 meters (98 ft) and weights of up to 400,000 pounds. 

Adult orcas can grow to lengths of more than 16-26 ft and weigh up to 6 metric tonnes (13,000 pounds).

Animal type LengthWeight 
Orcas16-26 ft6 metric tons (13,000 pounds)
Antarctic blue whale65-75 ft400,000 pounds (200 tons)

Also Check Out Humpback Whale Size & Comparison

Orca Size Compared To Dolphin

Orca size compared with dolphin

Orcas themselves are dolphins, but how large and small are they compared to other types of dolphins? 

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are generally larger than most species of dolphins. In fact, Orcas are among the largest species of dolphins and are known for their size and strength. 

Dolphins vary in size depending on the species, with some species growing as small as 2.2 to 2.7 m (7.2 to 8.9 ft.) long and weighing around 100 to 200 pounds. 

Adult orcas, on the other hand, can reach lengths of more than 16-26 ft and weights of up to 6 metric tonnes (13,000 pounds) (45 to 90 kilograms).

Animal type LengthWeight 
Orcas16-26 ft6 metric tons (13,000 pounds)
Dolphin 2.2 to 2.7 m (7.2 to 8.9 ft.)100 to 200 pounds (45 to 90 kilograms)

Conclusion

And that was everything you need to know about the size of Killer whale/ orca. I hope this article was informative and your queries were answered.

Thank You For Reading!

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