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The largest recorded Orca

GuateGojira Offline
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#16

Thank you for your comment Chaos, in fact, we can't rule out the posibility that wild orcas do weight more than captive one. For example, the wild orca "Old Tom" weighed more than a similar sized captive orca like Tilikum (in 2005). However, there is the problem about if the weight of Old Tom was real or estimated, like that of Orky.

A profesional book on Cetaceans quote a maximum weight of 10,500 kg for the largest orca (I am going to put the entire table in a next post), however, I found somewhat dificult to believe in that figure, specially when Nowak (1999) estate a maximum of 9 tons and quote a source.

I think that if we make a deeper investigation we will found more data that will help us to found the asnwer to GrizzlyClaws question. To be sincere, I like this topic too, becuase the orca is my second favorite animal. [img]images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
 
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Wanderfalke Offline
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(02-25-2015, 11:24 AM)'GuateGojira' Wrote: Talk about the records of marine animals is very difficult, specially by the fact that the scientific investigations in this area are few and most of them not invasive. Most of the records came from hunters (fishermen and whalers), which are famous for they exaggerations.

Normally, in most books you will found the record of the male orca of 9.8 m of Japan, other sources add a weight of 8-9 tons for it and other even 10 tons. However, the only source that state a reference is Nowak (1999), check it out:

*This image is copyright of its original author

I bet that most sources use his data as the main source, however he never stated that the largest weight corresponded to the largest length. Besides, I am till unable to found the "original" source of the data (Scheffer, 1978 b.), which make me doubt about the reliability of it. Normally, wild orcas are say to average about 6-7 m long in males, but this apply to the resident group. Transient groups are slightly longer but the other types are smaller, with about 5-6 m on average. Of course, most of this data is based in estimations and not direct measurements.

On the captive specimens, I think that even under they bad conditions, the largest specimens are pretty large and even with some overweight.

The largest orca ever held in captivity is the famous "Tilikum", with a length of 8.2 m (27 ft; measured in 2012) and a weight of 5,443 kg (12,000 b; taken in 2008). These are the official measurements (don't ask me how they were taken, the source don't mention it), and the animal itself seems very fat, not as slender (relatively speaking) as its wild counterparts. Just a few images to make comparisons:

*This image is copyright of its original author



*This image is copyright of its original author



*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author


Please, take in count that in ANY moment I am saying that they live in perfect conditions, for the contrary, the documentary "Black Fish" is mandatory to understand the bad (and even horrible) conditions that some of these animals live every day. In the case of Tilikum, he was raised like a stallion, with the best food (he is fat) but used lake a semen storage for captive reproduction. Now, after the death of 3 people, he is isolated for human contact, as far I remember.

Well, the point is that the records from wild orcas that I have see present maximum figures of between 7 to 8 meters long, about the same than the captive specimens. However, I have not see any study with weights of wild orcas, and taken the captive specimens as surrogates, it seems that wild orcas will reach maximum figures of 4 to 5 tons, in the higher side.

It is too early to reach any conclusions, Pckts and GrizzlyClaws will surely present more data, which will add more information on the issue, so I leave this just as an introductory post and not as a conclusive one, at least from my part.

I remember a study where they presented a list of lengths from wild orcas, I will found it just for comparison purposes.
 

 


Just asking, no cynism. So if I´d give you, let´s say 1 - 3 rooms your whole life and enough to eat, No contact to the external world, no contact or extremely rare contact to your own kind, as Tilikum, then you´d say you were allowed to live under good conditions, right?

Maybe I got you wrong, but reading your post I have that exact impression.
 
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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#18
( This post was last modified: 02-25-2015, 10:25 PM by GrizzlyClaws )

It is very evident that Tilikum looks very chubby compared to its wild counterparts, so he is definitely overweighed.

Just like those obese captive big cats, they are heavier than the wild ones, but just not as fit.
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GuateGojira Offline
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( This post was last modified: 02-25-2015, 10:07 PM by GuateGojira )

@Wanderfalke, can you read my entire post again?

And by the way, you are been rude without a reason, as I have never say that Tilikum is healthy or live in good conditions. I only say that he is fat because he eats more. I say that he receive the best food, but I am referring to the quantity, no quality.

Read the entire post before to make such a terrible comment about me. Besides, you missed the post where I showed a document where it is stated the bad conditions where these captive orcas live.

I am getting tired of people attacking me and twisting my comments. [img]images/smilies/angry.gif[/img]
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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#20
( This post was last modified: 02-25-2015, 10:25 PM by GrizzlyClaws )

I can imagine that an obese 32 feet captive specimen can perhaps top 20,000 pounds, but definitely not a wild one.
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United States Pckts Offline
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#21

You can never say what a wild animal can weigh at their maximum. There are 1000s that will never be measured or even seen. In captivity you can monitor the animal for its entire life, you know how old it is, you can compare it to others, weigh it with relative ease, etc. In the wild you can't just capture the biggest orca in the sea and weigh it, its impossible. A captive animal will never be as larger as a wild counterpart. As heavy, maybe, but obese for sure. A wild animal will always be more physically fit, stronger, faster and most likely larger. That goes for big cats as well, look how close the averages are between captive and wild animals. Yet the captive are fat, at least most of them compared to the wild animals. Its always going to be like that, and the same rule applies. You cant just capture and weigh the largest big cat in the wild at the prime of his life, it just doesn't happen but you can with a captive animal.
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United States Pckts Offline
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#22

Lets also not forget that there are many different species of wild orca with many different size ranges. The captive orcas could very well be hybrids like captive tigers and that could be another dictator of size ranges

*This image is copyright of its original author


Also, the largest "Captive" killer whale ever recorded was in fact, a Wild caught Killer Whale

"Tilikum was captured near Iceland in November of 1983, 30 years ago. At only 2 years old, when he was approximately 13 feet long, he was torn away from his family and ocean home."
Read more: http://www.seaworldofhurt.com/features/3...z3SmpjNkLE
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Roflcopters Offline
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#23
( This post was last modified: 02-26-2015, 01:20 AM by Roflcopters )

Finna the young male that died at 21 years of age weighed 5000kg, he could've possibly hit a much higher figure in his prime age.. oh well.

http://www.orcahome.de/finna.htm

 
Finna, the 21-year-old, 5,000 kg male killer whale at the Vancouver Aquarium died at 3:40 am on the morning of October 6, 1997. The cause of death remains unknown. On September 22, a routine daily examination revealed a 40 cm wide, 7 cm high swelling on his right flank. Dr David Huff, the Vancouver Aquarium's consulting veterinarian, examined Finna and ordered standard tests to determine the cause of the swelling. Treatment for a possible infection began on September 23. Veterinary and animal care staff continued to monitor Finna closely. Dr Huff described Finna's condition as "generally good". Finna began to show improvement on September 28 and antibiotic treatment continued. His appetite picked up on October 4. On Sunday, October 5, Finna's condition changed, he did not eat and appeared lethargic. Despite all possible efforts, Finna died at 3:40 am this morning in the Aquarium's killer whale habitat. Finna's body will be removed for post-mortem examination around 8:00 am. Following standard protocol, a necropsy team, including Dr. Ron Lewis of the provincial Animal Health Centre, Dr. Dave Huff and Aquarium staff have been assembled. The necropsy will be conducted the morning. Finna, an Icelandic killer whale, came to the Vancouver Aquarium in December 1980, along with Bjossa, a 21-year-old female killer whale. Bjossa went through three unsuccessful pregnancies during her time at Vancouver.
(transcript of first news release)
Preliminary findings in the death of Finna, the 21-year-old male killer whale at the Vancouver Aquarium have been presented by consulting veterinarian Dr. Dave Huff. While the cause of Finna's death remains unknown, some details were ascertained from the gross-examination of the body. The swelling on Finna's flank detected on September 22, was confirmed to be infected. Finna was being treated with antibiotics for this, and appeared to be showing improvement up until Sunday, October 5. Signs of infection were also found on his spleen and lymph nodes. Pneumonia was found in a section of Finna's lungs. Though not wide-spread in the lungs, the degree of infection was severe. The pathology findings suggest that the pneumonia may have advanced rapidly, perhaps over only 24 to 48 hours. More detailed findings involving analysis of tissue and blood samples in the lab will take 2 to 4 weeks. It is hoped that this will yield the answer to Finna's sudden death. Dr. Huff and provincial veterinary pathologist, Dr. Ron Lewis, do not expect the female killer whale, Bjossa, or the white-sided dolphin, Whitewings, to be at risk. Bjossa and Whitewings are healthy and interacting well with their trainers. The Vancouver Aquarium would like to thank the many kind people who have offered their support and encouragement during this difficult time. We will continue to release details as they become available.
(transcript of second news release)
 
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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#24

The tooth of the different Orca types, and the largest one i saw resembled more like a Resident's one.


*This image is copyright of its original author



 
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United States Pckts Offline
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#25

Finna was most likely wild as well, here are a couple of others, the first being from the same facility as Finna
1. "Moby Doll", who was actually a male orca, was harpooned to be killed as a model for a sculpture in 1964. Since he didn't die, he was towed to Vancouver by the harpoon rope, put on display and survived only 86 days.

2. Orca "Natsidalia" was captured in 1968 and died seven months later of heart failure.

13. Orca "Skana" was captured in 1967 and died in 1980 of a general mycotic infection in less than 14 years in captivity.

19. Orca "Hyak II" ("Hyak I" was released for unknown reasons) was captured in 1968 and died in 1991 after 22 years in captivity.

18. Orca "Bjossa" had an unnamed first baby who died of starvation at 22 days old in 1988.
20. Orca "Bjossa" had a second baby "K'yosha" on September 30, 1991, who died alone a horrific, painful death caused by a brain infection bumping against the sides of the tank 97 days after being born.
21. Orca "Bjossa" had a third baby born March 1995 who blead to death within 8 minutes after his umbilical cord ruptured. The decaying body was left in the bottom of the tank for 5 days for the paying public to flock to the aquarium to see the dead baby whale..
(It seems its extremely difficult to even have a baby in captivity for a orca)

22. Orca "Finna" died in October 1997 at only 21 years old.

23. Orca "Bjossa" was very sick so she was shipped to die at Sea World-San Diego in April 2001 because the Vancouver Aquarium wanted to go ahead and renovate her show tank before the busy summer season, where they now keep dolphins purchased from the infamous and bloody dolphin drives in Japan. Bjossa was the last orca to suffer at the Vancouver Aquarium. She died alone in a reserve tank in San Diego in October 2001, at only 25 years young.


It looks like all the killer whales at the Vancouver Aquarium were wild captured and they no longer have the show due to pressure from activists
"Because we promised not to capture from the wild, or cause a whale to be captured, we have decided after 33 years to end the display of live killer whales at the Vancouver Aquarium," said aquarium chairman Dick Bradshaw. "

Now that you know the history of Bjossa and her dead calves and her death, check out how they tried to spin it
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/729145.stm

Makes me sick.

Proof of Finna and  the rest being Wild Captured"Another scan, I obtained this photo from Vancouver sun, the magazine from Vancouver. Photo shows Blossa (F), Hyak 2 (M) and Finna (M). These whales were kept at Vancouver aquarium. Hyak 2 was member of Northern resident community, Bjossa and Finna were captured around Iceland. "
https://www.flickr.com/photos/marhi_226/6749911717/

Looks like there is no such thing as a captive Orca, they are simplied captured from the wild and tortured for the rest of their lives in captivity.
It's horrible to think about, they would go the same route as tigers and lions in captivity if we don't get it completely under control.
 
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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#26
( This post was last modified: 02-26-2015, 03:07 AM by GrizzlyClaws )

Because they are the money printing machines, and the human beings cannot control their greed.
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GuateGojira Offline
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#27
( This post was last modified: 02-26-2015, 09:46 AM by GuateGojira )

Again, a simply misconception of a single poster deviate this new topic from its objective.

The topic is about the maximum size that, hypothetically or actually, can reach an orca in the wild, not about the situations of captive orcas.

Please, stay in topic. [img]images/smilies/dodgy.gif[/img]


 
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GuateGojira Offline
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( This post was last modified: 02-26-2015, 10:33 AM by GuateGojira )

(02-25-2015, 11:57 PM)'Pckts' Wrote: You can never say what a wild animal can weigh at their maximum. There are 1000s that will never be measured or even seen. In captivity you can monitor the animal for its entire life, you know how old it is, you can compare it to others, weigh it with relative ease, etc. In the wild you can't just capture the biggest orca in the sea and weigh it, its impossible. A captive animal will never be as larger as a wild counterpart. As heavy, maybe, but obese for sure. A wild animal will always be more physically fit, stronger, faster and most likely larger. That goes for big cats as well, look how close the averages are between captive and wild animals. Yet the captive are fat, at least most of them compared to the wild animals. Its always going to be like that, and the same rule applies. You cant just capture and weigh the largest big cat in the wild at the prime of his life, it just doesn't happen but you can with a captive animal.


 
Pckts, I appreciate your comment, but you are mixing things here.

You are using the "old" excuse of the Cryptozoologist about the sea. Yes, the sea is huge, but from many, "many" killed animals in centuries, the largest orca recorded "reliably" was of less than 10 meters and between 8-9 tons (one scientific sources quote a weight of 10.5 tons, but no reference is presented). Most of the largest ecoptypes of orcas average about 7 meters, with the largest specimens reaching 8 to 9 m (Pitman et al. 2007). There are smaller ecotypes, but like I mentioned in my first posts, we are discussing on the largest orcas, so only the largest specimens should be investigated.

Also, the logic about the "wild vs captive" is incorrect. Captive animals are normally heavier than wild counterparts. For example, the largest wild tigers and lions are not as heavy than they largest captive brothers. The same goes with elephants, giraffes, gorillas, etc. etc. etc, check Wood (1977) about the differences. This apply to land animals, and as far I know, there is no scientific document suggesting that the contrary is the "rule" in the marine mammals. I don't discard the possibility on sea, but qualified it as a "rule" is simply incorrect at this point. 

In the wild, a large agile orca will have more possibilities to survive than a fat one like Tilikum. An interesting fact about the orcas hunting large prey, when the pod attack a large whale, the smaller females, not the males, are the one that makes most of the kill and only, in the final stage, when they are finishing the prey, the males enter and with they weight, drown the large cetaceans.

Clauset (2012) created a document where he observed body masses for all extant cetacean species and are predicted, with no tunable parameters, by a macroevolutionary tradeoff between short-term selective advantages and long-term extinction risks from increased species body size. In table one, he presented some weights for orcas, check it out:

Species mass  (kg)     primary source (reference)
Orcinus orca    4300   Smith et al. (2003) .
Orcinus orca    8750   Jefferson, Leatherwood, Webber (1993) .
Orcinus orca    4685   Culik (2004) .
Orcinus orca    7050   Perrin, Zubtsova, Kuzmin (2004) - reported mass mean of 2 specimens

I guess these are real weights from wild specimens, and if this is correct, we could guess that wild orcas, in fact, DO weight more than the captive specimens. This seems to be supported by my comparison between "Old Tom" and Tilikum, which at the same length, the heavier was the wild one (sadly, some poster ignored this comparison for unknown reasons). However, I most ask again if these weights are from wild specimens or if they are real weights and not estimations. I think is fair to ask about it.
 

 
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GuateGojira Offline
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#29
( This post was last modified: 02-26-2015, 10:43 AM by GuateGojira )

(02-26-2015, 12:57 AM)'Pckts' Wrote: Lets also not forget that there are many different species of wild orca with many different size ranges. The captive orcas could very well be hybrids like captive tigers and that could be another dictator of size ranges

Also, the largest "Captive" killer whale ever recorded was in fact, a Wild caught Killer Whale

"Tilikum was captured near Iceland in November of 1983, 30 years ago. At only 2 years old, when he was approximately 13 feet long, he was torn away from his family and ocean home."
Read more: http://www.seaworldofhurt.com/features/3...z3SmpjNkLE

 
About the hybrid issue, this would apply only to the captive-born specimens. Those captured in the wild are, probably, 100% pure.

Now, about the "wild or captive issue", it doesn't matter if they were captured in the wild, they were, at the end, breaded in captivity and that is what led its development. A wild-born orca in its habitat will not grow in the same way that a wild-born orca in captivity, just check the male dorsal fin, for example.

I think that instead of pushing ideas with no real base, we should focus in found data for comparison. I have presented plenty about captive specimens, but we need data from wild animals, and at this moment, I have not found confirmed weights from wild specimens, only length, but at least in this part, the wild specimens top the list.
 
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United States tigerluver Offline
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#30

On the captive vs. wild size discrepancy. I think wild specimens are proportionately heavier compared to a good chunk of non-fat captive specimens. I say this based on the one, wild bones seems to be proportiontely heavier, implying more muscle mass. Two, this bone observation seems to be somewhat supported by often times the wild form of the species will weigh more than the captive type of the same length. This isn't always the case obviously, but I'd say their something significant going on. Wild land animals go through more bone stress, so adding bone mass and in turn muscle would be expected. I specify land as I'm sure bone stress works different under water as theirs no land to return the force on the body. Nevertheless, I'm sure the wild lifestyle calls for muscled individuals across biomes, causing proportional mass increase. These observations support Guate's assertion that the wild orca was heavier than the captive orca at the same length. I also agree that in terms of raw total mass, the record holders are normally captive specimens for their respective species, but all this is for a different topic. 

Everyone has done a great job filling up the new topic with excellent information. Though, I propose we take this thread and broaden the topic to discuss orcas as a whole rather than just the size issue, as even now we're inadvertently and unavoidabley expanding our explorations. What do you folks think?

Here's a document on the state of modern orca research:
http://www.orcanetwork.org/Main/PDF/Whal...o12011.pdf

It goes over a lot, including ecotypes. A little sidenote, a professor I know researches dolphins, and she's stated that these ecotypes are in the process of speciating. 

I don't think many wild orcas have been weighed. I'd imagine weighing something that large is an expensive, time consuming, and stressful experience for both parties. How exactly does one go above securing a wild titan into a harness is probably beyond everybody. Darting is impossible in water, the being would drown. In other words, taking a wild whale's weight probably can only be done to a dead animal. Taking length would be much easier, as I've read and watched some research using laser technology to take in action measurements of animals under water. 

Many historical wild whale masses were taken from the sum of the cut up parts of the hunted specimen, thus a lot of blood weight was unaccounted for. Have orcas ever been massed in such a way?

To close, a document dedicated to orca morphology:
http://cetacousin.com/info/orca/orcaana.pdf

For those who want to cut to the chase on what it says about size:
"Male Orcas measure between 22 to 30 ft. (6.7-9 m) and
usually weigh between 8,000 and 12,000 lb. (3,628-5,443 kg). The largest male
ever recorded was 32 ft. (9.7 m) and weighed 21,000 lb. (9,525 kg). As a male Orca
approaches adulthood, it gains the typical male characteristics: it gains weight, its
pectoral flippers, dorsal fin and flukes grow larger than those of females. Female
Orcas measure between 17 to 24 ft. (5.2-7.3 m) and usually weigh
between 3,000 and 8,000 lb. (1,360-3,628 kg). The largest female
recorded was 28 ft. (8.5 m) and weighed 15,000 lb. (6,804 kg). "
 

 
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