How Fast Can Killer Whales Swim?
Learning how fast can killer whales swim has been a mystery to scientists for decades. Until recently, the biggest known killer whale was a thirty seven foot long orca called a killer whale or a great white shark. The orca or also known as a killer whale is actually a toothed whales member of the acrocanthoid family, of which it’s the largest member. It’s easily recognizable by its black and white striped body shape. It’s also armed with its sting for stunning prey.
Killer whales may be found in warm, deep water along coastal areas along the west coast of Mexico, British Columbia, Oregon, Washington State, and California. However, this species migrates south along the central Pacific coastline from Juneau, Alaska, through the Bering Sea, into the central Pacific Ocean. During the winter they breed along the submarine trails off San Diego and Los Angeles. The migration route is used by the species to seek warmer waters and their favored spot is along coastal fault lines, where calving occurs. This enables the whales to build large numbers and the resulting increase in size makes them nearly the same size as the endangered species black bear.
How fast can a killer whale swim has been the subject of much speculation. Most authorities believe the swimmers can cover ten miles per hour. There are some estimates that the orca can cover thirty eight to forty miles per hour, but these are estimates. No matter how fast a killer whale can swim, it isn’t easy; they are also much less maneuverable than the orca. A killer whale can move up to fifteen miles an hour!
In captivity, killer whales and dolphins can perform such amazing feats as surfing and swimming circles, swimming at unbelievable speeds, traveling faster than previously known and diving to great depths. Their abilities in the wild are being studied by experts all over the world. It appears that these creatures are used to hunt, gather, and then kill their prey. Their ability to hunt has led to them living primarily in the cold and deep oceans. Even though the number of bottlenose dolphins is decreasing because of overfishing, the number of killer whales is on the rise.
As mentioned, killer whales and other great sea creatures are protected in their natural habitats by a system of underwater fences and sanctuaries. However, in this modern day society, things are different. Many laws have been changed allowing these magnificent animals to be removed from their natural habitat and placed in captivity where they can roam free. However, the population continues to grow due to human activities and pollution. These creatures need to be provided with additional space and care so they can survive and breed in a natural way. There is currently a program in place that would help to make these sea creatures available for future generations.
The answer to the question, how fast can killer whales swim, will likely never be known the true answer until a professional whale watch team has been allowed to observe the behavior of one of these magnificent creatures in the wild. However, the answer will most likely be amazing and mind boggling to most people. Some orca whale species can reach speeds up to 50 miles per hour and some have been known to go even faster. Even though it may seem impossible, it is completely possible for these majestic marine mammals to travel at such speeds. One way to discover the answer to this question is to be able to observe the behavior of one of these magnificent creatures in its natural habitat. You can do this at your local marine mammalarium or by visiting a facility that displays exotic marine mammals.