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What do Orcas eat? A Complete Guide 2022

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The Orcas whale is the most prominent member of the dolphin family. Orcas are also commonly known as “killer whales.” These animals are easily recognizable by their black and white coloration. They are intelligent and social creatures that live in pods consisting of up to 40 members. So, what do orcas eat? We will discuss it more later.

Orcas are top predators who eat various foods, meaning they sit at the top of the food chain and have no natural predators. These animals are found in all oceans of the world, but they prefer cold waters. Orcas hunt in packs and use their signature “tail-slapping” technique to stun and kill prey. Some of the orcas’ favorite foods include fish, squid, and seals.

The Orcas whale is a fantastic creature that should be protected. These animals are in danger due to hunting, pollution, and habitat loss. We can help orcas by supporting conservation efforts and educating others about these beautiful creatures.

What Do Orcas Eat?

Orca is the world’s top predators, meaning they have no natural predators and sit at the top of the food chain. These animals are found in all oceans of the world but prefer cold waters.

Killer whales are top-level predators in the ocean. These large, intelligent mammals eat everything from fish and marine animals to birds! There is an incredible amount of specialization within killer whale diets, depending on where they live worldwide. In general, though, there are three main types of orcas: resident, transient, and offshore.

Resident orcas that live in British Columbia and Alaska waters primarily eat fish. Their diet consists of chinook and coho salmon, herring, halibut, rockfish, and mackerel. Transient orcas, on the other hand, live in all three of the world’s oceans and eat marine mammals such as seals, dolphins, and whales. The third type of orcas, offshore orcas, live in deep waters far from shore and eat primarily fish.

No matter what their diet consists of, all killer whales use echolocation, or sound waves, to help them find their food. These mammals are also known to work together as a team to capture large prey. For example, some killer whales will create a wall of bubbles around a school of fish to herd them into a small area so they can be more easily caught.

Orcas hunt in packs and use their signature “tail-slapping” technique to stun and kill prey. Some of the orcas’ favorite foods include fish, squid, and seals. Here is a detailed list of Orca diets:


The Orca is a marine animal that you can find in all oceans. One of their favorite foods is seals, which they often hunt while swimming near shorelines with towed schools at surface level! Orca pods will work together to create waves that wash seals off of ice floes into the water, where the orcas can more easily catch them.


Orcas also eat squid, which they hunt using echolocation. Echolocation is a process where an animal produces sound waves and then listens for the echo of those waves bouncing off of objects. This helps the animal to determine the location, shape, and size of an object. Orcas use echolocation to locate squid in the water, and then they use their teeth to tear the squid apart.


These magnificent creatures often hunt fish by swimming around schools and using teeth to snag the tasty treats from beneath the water’s surface. This fantastic animal gets its name for being so hearty about eating whatever offerings nature provides, even if the said food source isn’t exactly what they would prefer at first glance or taste-wise (or both).

what do orcas eat
Orca loves Salmon among all the fishes.


Orcas are ocean dwellers that have been known to hunt birds such as penguins and seabirds. Sometimes they will go after their prey by swimming under an ice floe before popping up quickly, catching it off-guard while it’s frozen solid!

Sea Otters: 

Orcas have also been known to eat sea otters. They will sometimes hunt sea otters by swimming up behind them and then grabbing them with their teeth.


Dugongs are large, slow-moving marine mammals that live in the shallow waters of the Indian and Western Pacific oceans. Orcas have been known to eat dugongs, although it is not common.


Orcas are also known to eat other cetaceans, such as dolphins, porpoises, and whales. They will sometimes herd groups of these animals into a small area and then take turns swimming through the group to snatch a meal.


Orcas have even been known to eat moose! An orca was seen carrying a dead moose calf in its mouth in one instance. The Orca then swam to an area where it could access shallower water and stopped to eat the moose calf.

Humpback Whale: 

Orcas are not afraid to go against the grain when it comes to food preferences. In one instance, an orca was seen carrying a dead humpback whale calf in its mouth and then swimming towards shallower water where they could access more easily than before- all while eating their prey!

Sea turtles:

Orcas are not only known for hunting fish but also for taking on other creatures like sea turtles. They’ll sometimes swim up behind their prey and then grab them with teeth before dragging it underwater or letting it go completely, depending on how far away from the land they’re located to feast.

what do orcas eat
Sea turtles are also eaten by Orcas.

Common Scoter: 

The Common Scoter is a duck that can be found in the northern hemisphere. Orcas have been known to eat these ducks, although it’s not a very common occurrence. This means there will usually always find some form of water nearby if you’re looking at just about any location throughout this large area, including parts of the Pacific coast.


Orcas often hunt herring by swimming around schools of fish and using their teeth to snag the herring from beneath the water’s surface. Herring is a type of fish that you can find in the waters of the northern hemisphere.


Mackerel are a type of fish that you can find in the waters of the northern hemisphere. Orcas often hunt mackerel by swimming around schools of fish and using their teeth to snag the mackerel from beneath the water’s surface.

Now you can see that orcas are known for their size and strength, ability to adapt to different environments, and vast appetites! These characteristics make them one of the most exciting animals in the world.

How Much Do Orcas Eat? 

Killer whales are enormous, powerful animals that can weigh up to 8,800 pounds. The huge killer whale weights reach hundreds of tons, with a few as high as 20 thousand! These behemoths are known to eat up to 560 pounds of fish per day which means they’re consuming about 10% of their overall body weight.

Depending on how much they need to eat, orcas only require around 2% of their overall body weight. This means that they could theoretically survive eating just 200 pounds of fish per day. However, they often consume much more than this because they’re opportunistic feeders that take advantage of whenever food is abundant.

One of the main reasons orcas need to eat so much is because they have a very high metabolism. Their metabolic rate is one of the highest of any animal on Earth. This means they burn through a lot of energy and need to replace it regularly.

Orcas also have a lot of physical activity since they’re constantly swimming. This requires them to use up a lot of energy which needs to be replaced. Additionally, orcas are continually growing. They continue to grow until they’re around 30 years old, which means they need to consume a lot of food to support this growth.

How Do Orcas Hunt for Food? 

Orcas are known to be brilliant animals that use different methods to hunt for food. One of the most common methods they use is called herding. This is when they swim around a school of fish and then use their bodies to create a wall that traps the fish.

Killer whales are not your average fish. They can reach speeds of 35 mph and have a large brain size for their bodies, making them very intelligent creatures that hunt in creative ways to take down prey like salmon or seabirds with high degrees of accuracy while calling out friends if need be!

In addition to herding, orcas will also use their tails to create a wave that stuns the fish and makes them easier to catch. Another method they use is called carousel feeding. This is when they swim in a circle and slap the water with their tails, creating a wall of water that traps the fish.

Orcas will also cooperate to hunt for food. This is most commonly seen when hunting for large prey like whales. In these cases, they will work together to herd the whale into a small area and then take turns attacking it.

Killer whales are not as solo hunters as their name suggests. While they hunt alone, most often in large pods with up to 40 members, studies show that some orca groups can be comprised of only seven individuals while other huge packs contain more than 20 dolphins!!

The main methods that orcas use to hunt are herding, carousel feeding, and cooperatively hunting with other orcas. These methods are all convenient and allow them to take down various types of prey.

Killer whales are intelligent and creative enough to use traps for catching prey. Researchers have seen them spit fish near the water surface, waiting until birds come by looking at what smells delicious in hopes that it will lead these predators into an easy meal!

what do orcas eat
Orcas have sharp teeth.

What Do Orcas Eat Besides Fish? 

In addition to fish, orcas will also eat various other marine animals. This includes seals, sea lions, penguins, and even sharks. Orcas have been known to attack and kill large whales, but this is relatively rare.

Orcas are top predators, which means they occupy the top of the food chain. This gives them a lot of freedom regarding what they can eat. However, their diet is primarily made up of fish.

Do Orcas Eat Humans? 

A few reports of orcas attacking and killing humans, but this is relatively rare. Most of these attacks have occurred in captivity. In the wild, there have only been a handful of attacks that have been documented.

One of the most famous cases of an orca attacking a human occurred in 1971. This was when a captive killer whale named Lolita pulled her trainer into the water and held her underwater until she drowned.

In another incident, an orca named Tillikum killed a trainer at SeaWorld in 2010. This was the third person that Tillikum had killed in his life.

While there have been a few reports of orcas attacking and killing humans, it’s important to remember that this is very rare. Orcas are not naturally aggressive towards humans, and they typically only attack when they’re provoked.

What Is The Natural Habitat Of An Orca? 

Orcas are found in all of the world’s oceans. They typically prefer to live in cold waters, but they can also be found in tropical and sub-tropical waters. Orcas are often seen near the coasts, but they can also be found in open waters.

Orcas typically live in pods of 10-40 individuals. These pods are often made up of family members, but they can also be made up of unrelated orcas.

Orcas are highly social creatures, and they have a complex social structure. Their pods are led by matriarchs, typically the oldest and most experienced females.

What Competes With Orcas For Food?

Orcas might be at the top of their food chain, but they’re not alone in having a hunger to satisfy. When other carnivores share similar diets or occupy large swaths together, there can sometimes arise an overlap between supplies that Killer Whales often take advantage of when feasting on both ends!

Sperm whales, sharks, and other large predators often compete with orcas for food. These animals are all Apex predators, which means they’re at the top of the food chain. This means that they have to compete with other animals for food.

In some cases, orcas will work together to hunt large prey. However, they will compete with other animals for food in other cases.

What Do Orcas Eat In Captivity?

In captivity, orcas are fed a diet of fish, squid, and vitamins. Their diet is carefully regulated to ensure that they’re getting all of the necessary nutrients. Orcas in captivity typically eat between 50-100 pounds of food per day. This amount of food can vary depending on the size of the Orca and their activity level.

Wrapping Up:

Orcas are one of the fascinating creatures in the world. They’re known for their intelligence, social behavior, and hunting skills. Orca is top predators, meaning they occupy the top of the food chain. This gives them a lot of freedom regarding what they can eat. However, their diet is primarily made up of fish.

You can also read:

What Do Manatees Eat? 6 Foods In Their Diet!

What Do Earwigs Eat? A Complete Guide!

What Do Tarantulas Eat? 12 Foods For Their Diet!

What Do Raccoons Eat? 9 Foods They Love

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