Interesting Facts I Bet You Never Knew About New Species Of Orca Whales

The eyepatch is so small, Orca type-D is a new species of Orca whale that was discovered in early 2019 by scientists....

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The eyepatch is so small, Orca type-D is a new species of Orca whale that was discovered in early 2019 by scientists.

Not many people have seen this unique type of orca with their own eyes. The eyepatch is different, so I can’t say that the Orca’s eyepatch could be like Venom mask here because it’s small.

This new species is unlike other known types of orcas, they have a rounded head, a more pointed and narrow dorsal fin, and a very small white eyepatch. It is also several feet shorter in length.

Reporting from whale.org, Orcas divide the types based on their diet and eyepatches. And this new species of Orca has a mystery. They are never found offshore and live in the middle of the oceans that we rarely touch.

Orca Type

All Orca are massive marine mammals that have been considered homogeneous and, currently, they all classified under the species Orcinus orca. Orcas have their own society with different diets.

Scientists use unique types of eyepatch patterns, and communities or pods to classify their interests.

Also, dialects, behaviors, appearance, prey preferences, foraging techniques, distinct types of orcas that differ in size, and social groups can help scientists to classify their ecotype.

In fact, they are about 10 types of Orca that evenly split between the northern and southern hemisphere.

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Before we know the interesting fact about this new species, we must know another orca type, right?

Southern hemisphere

Let’s point to the south pole of the earth from the equator. These Orcas are classified simply as Type A, Type B, Type C, and Type D. So the new species is in the southern hemisphere around Antarctica.

#1 Type A

Antarctic Orca Type A tends to stay away from the ice and feed mostly on minke whales, but have on occasion been seen to prey on elephant seals (Mirounga leonina). See they eat whales too, so no doubt we call them killer whales.

#2 and #3 Type B (small and Big)

Orca type B has recently been divided into two groups: Ice Pack Killer Whales feed on seals around the outer iceberg, and the smaller Gerlache Orca.

The Gerlache Orca (named after the Gerlache Strait on the Antarctic Peninsula where they are often found) feed primarily on penguins.

Orca type. Take a look at the difference in eyepatch patterns.

The large orca has a well-known technique for washing waves, using its tail and body to create waves to clear seals from floating ice.

Small orcas have an unknown diet but have been seen feeding on penguins, and they are usually spotted around penguin colonies.

Type B or Pack Ice orcas can appear brown or yellowish due to the diatoms (a type of algae) on their skin, and they have cloaks that are paler in color.

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#4 Type C

Type C or Ross Marine Orca are piscivores, feeding primarily on fish and following channels or openings in the ice.

Orca types B and C have a distinctive yellowish color from the diatoms on their skin, as well as a protruding back cloak. Type C is the smallest known Orca ecotype.

#5 Type D

These Type D orcas were only first recorded when stranded in New Zealand in 1955. A few years later, in early 2019, we know that a new species Type D orca has been discovered. But until now, no other species have been found.

Orca type D or Subantarctic Orca has a small eyepatch and distinctive shape are usually stealing fish from its longlines and seen only a few times.

Northern Hemisphere

Head north from Earth’s equator, let’s point to the top pole of Earth’s globe if you believe the earth is not flat 😀

There are three most studied populations of killer whales in the North Pacific, but there are also two other types in the North Atlantic.

#1 Resident

Resident orca is fish eaters who prefer Chinook salmon. Residents in Alaska appear to be more generalist in their fish preference, eating multiple fish species including cod, halibut, and mackerel.

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#2 Bigg’s or Transient

This orca (connoisseurs of marine mammals) occurs in the coastal waters of the North Pacific. Bigg’s orca hunt whales while the others are sea lions.

The transient orca is one of the largest types of killer whales, which is a characteristic feature of mammal-eating killer whales.

#3 Offshore

This Orca has a preference for sharks and mostly found, you guessed it, offshore. Offshore killer whale hunt in pods of around 50 animals.

Offshore orcas have been seen sharing food with older animals who are most likely unable to kill due to tooth decay caused by shark hunting.

Orca type in northern hemisphere. Image from Pinterest.

They are also thought to kill fish. Offshore orcas are the smallest killer whales in the northern hemisphere.

#4 North Atlantic: Type 1

Eastern North Atlantic prefers herring or mackerel, which are plentiful there. They are less specialised than other orcas, and will eat some small mammals like seals.

These orcas have developed a very distinctive hunting pattern whereby they stun fish using their flukes.

#5 North Atlantic: Type 2

Prefer marine mammals, mostly other whales and dolphins. Being feeders of larger prey, they themselves are one of the largest found.

They’ve got keenly sharp teeth for shredding flesh off prey and exhibit distinctive slopping eye patches. 

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