Killer Whales Are Not Actually Whales But?
Here’s another one to file away in your index of “Lies and Misconceptions from my Childhood”: Killer Whales are not in fact whales, but are actually dolphins. Despite their name and large size, Killer Whales are members of the Delphinidae, or oceanic dolphin, family.
Among the Cetacea order, the overarching classification that includes the marine mammals known as dolphins, whales, and porpoises, the Delphinidae family is the most diverse in terms of variation. The smallest member is the Haviside’s Dolphin (around 3.9 feet long and 88 pounds) and the largest is the Killer Whale (at 30 feet and 20,000 pounds).
Image courtesy of the NOAA/Robert Pittman.