Killer whale

Orcinus orca

More commonly or preferred to be known as the Orca.  It’s named Killer whale because it’s a top predator and no other animal preys on them.  However, these whales are considered to have a friendly a pleasant manner when in company of humans.

Killer Whale © Rohan Holt
Killer Whale © Rohan Holt

Although the Orca carry’s the name whale it is considered a dolphin rather than a whale. They are one of the worlds most recognized animals due to its distinctive black and white coloured pattern. Orcas migrate for food, so their migration pattern is totally different from the rest of the same family species, with them migrating to areas where their food supply migrates. For these mammals they don’t have any precise times for mating and reproduction, it can happen at any time throughout the year. When it comes to giving birth, the child is born tail first to prevent the risk of drowning. These mammals seem fairly family orientated due to the fact if a pod makes a successful kill it’ll share it with family and friends or if a pod member is in distress they will help out. Although considered scarce around Tristan a sighting occurred at Sandy Point of a Orca calf breached on the beach, its believed to have been separated from its pod and was considered vulnerable to being attacked.

IUCN Status – Data deficient

Length – Up to 9m

Weight – Up to 4 tons

Life span – 30 Years

Reproduction –  Every 4-5 years

Sightings around Tristan islands – Common during December – May.

Marine life on Tristan

The waters surrounding the Tristan islands are home to a diverse range of fish and invertebrates, including the commercially valuable crayfish.