Q: How big do they get?
SW: Adult killer whale sizes vary. At SeaWorld, the average length for adult males is just over 21.5 feet — taller than two stories on its side! Females average closer to 18 feet.
Q: Are they endangered?
SW: Though killer whales are the top predator of the sea with no natural predators of their own, all killer whales are threatened by pollution and overfishing. The Southern Resident population of killer whales in the eastern North Pacific Ocean is officially listed as endangered.
Q: Why is the dorsal fin curved?
SW: Killer whale dorsal fins come in many shapes and sizes; they may be straight, wavy, curved, or bent. The fins lack any supportive bone or muscle. An adult male’s dorsal fin is tall (up to 6 feet!) and triangular while a female’s shorter fin curves back.
Q: How many killer whales have been born at SeaWorld?
SW: SeaWorld’s first Baby Shamu was born in 1985. Since then, more than 20 killer whales have been born at SeaWorld parks. SeaWorld’s unparalleled breeding success contributes significant information to studies of killer whale reproduction, growth, and development.