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Killer Whales

  Killer Whales have always presented fear in our minds as we look at them and wonder what would happen to us if we were to meet them face to face in the ocean. Let's try to answer some questions to see what is real and what is make believe.

What can you learn about the whales' diet and eating habits?

1. What kind of food do the whales like to eat? What does the text mean when it says they are opportunistic feeders?
2. Is their diet any different for the whales that live in different areas of the world's oceans?
3. What percent of the whale's body weight do they eat? If the whale weighs 10,000 pounds, how much food does he eat? Have your teacher help you figure out if that is more or less than the percent of food that humans eat?
4. Do the whales act on their own or cooperatively to hunt down their prey? Why do they act in that manner? Do you know of other animals that hunt for food in the same way?
5. Do the whales need teeth? Why or why not?

Locate the following site to answer the above questions:

Killer Whales/Diet and Eating Habits.

What can you learn about their physical characteristics?

1. Who weighs more, the male or the female killer whale? What is the difference in their weights and lengths?
2. When does the whale take on the more recognizable physical characteristics of the killer whale?
3. What helps the killer whale not be noticed as a predator in the ocean? Both whales and chameleons use their markings to their advantage, but yet they use them in an opposite way. Explain what that means.
4. How does the whale lower his body heat level?
5. What parts of the whale have no bones?
6. Describe how the whale's teeth look.
7. Take out some time to watch the film clip from this page and then draw a picture of a killer whale and label all the parts you learned about.

Locate the following site and answer the above questions:

Killer Whales: Physical Characteristics

Additional Sites:

Zoom Whales

Lesson by Peggy Barber...email any comments to barberp@k12tn.net