killer whale, orca (Orcinus orca)
English: Known types of Killer Whales
Date 1 January 2011
Type A looks like a "typical" killer whale, a large, black and white form with a medium-sized white eye patch, living in open water and feeding mostly on minke whales.
Type B is smaller than type A. It has a large white eye patch. Most of the dark parts of its body are medium gray instead of black, although it has a dark gray patch called a "dorsal cape" stretching back from its forehead to just behind its dorsal fin. The white areas are stained slightly yellow. It feeds mostly on seals.
Type C is the smallest type and lives in larger groups than the others. Its eye patch is distinctively slanted forwards, rather than parallel to the body axis. Like type B, it is primarily white and medium gray, with a dark gray dorsal cape and yellow-tinged patches. Its only observed prey is the Antarctic cod.
Type D was identified based on photographs of a 1955 mass stranding in New Zealand and six at-sea sightings since 2004. The first video record of this type in life happened between the Kerguelen and Crozet Islands in 2014. It is immediately recognizable by its extremely small white eye patch, narrower and shorter than usual dorsal fin, bulbous head (similar to a pilot whale), and smaller teeth. Its geographic range appears to be circumglobal in subantarctic waters between latitudes 40°S and 60°S. And although nothing is known about the type D diet, it is suspected to include fish because groups have been photographed around longline vessels, where they reportedly prey on Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides).
The killer whale or orca (Orcinus orca) is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family, of which it is the largest member. Order: Artiodactyla, Infraorder: Cetacea, Family: Delphinidae, Genus: Orcinus, Species: Orcinus orca (Linnaeus, 1758), Synonyms: Orca gladiator.