Social Behavior
Phylogenetic Tree


What is Orcinius Orca?

The words orcinius and orca are probably derived from the Roman word orc, particularly Orcus, the god of underworld for the dead.  This is most likely a reference to the ferocious hunting nature of these animals. 
In general opinion, Orca whales are the only organism within the genus Orcinius.  So what separates an Orca from the rest of the dolphins? In general, the size of an Orca is much larger than that of the average dolphin.  Their body is painted in patterns of black and white, which differs from the standard shades of grey.  They are also much more vicious predators than standard dolphins, known to eat other whales, sharks, etc. 
However, it is important to note that most scientists split Orca whales into two different groups, transient and resident.  Their differences (which are explained on other pages) set them apart to even the untrained eye.  Many believe that they are of different species or subspecies, but, as of yet, there just has not been enough data collected from a large enough number of Orcas to support the claim.