Shamu is a killer whale. Read on for some in-depth information about killer whales.
Killer Whales Live Worldwide
Did you know that killer whales live in all oceans of the world? Most are found near the Arctic and Antarctic where it's icy cold. A thick layer of blubbler beneath the skin keeps a killer whale wwarm in even the coldest polar waters.
Killer Whales are Black and White
A killer whale's striking black and white color pattern may help it hunt in the sea. The pattern is a type of disruptive coloration, a form of camouflage in which the color pattern of an animal breaksup it's body shape. By flickering, filtered sunlight of the sea, other animals may not recognize a killer whale as a potential predator.
Killer Whales are Shaped for Swimming
A sleek, streamlined body helps a killer whale move through the water. Strong muscles along the whale's back move the tail flukes up and down, providing power for swimming. A killer whale uses its paddlelike pectoral flippers to stop. Pectoral flippers are supported by bones. The dorsal finon a killer whales's back contains no bone. A male killwe whale's dorsal fin is talland triangular. It may reach 1.8 m (6 ft) tall! Females funs are smaller, 0.9 to 1.2 m (3 to 4 ft) and may curve backward. Some whales have irregularóshaped dorsal fin, which may lean to the left or the right.
The first-ever successful killer whale birth in a zoological park took place at SeaWorld Orlando, September 23, 1985. Kalina, our first calf, continued to make history when she gave birth to a calf of her own in 1993.
Yong killer whales learn a great deal by watching others. At SeaWorld, a young whale follows its mother and tries to imitate everything she does, including show behaviors. By a calf's first birthday, it may have learned more than a dozen show behaviors just by mimicking its moher.
Many stories exist about the origin of Shamu's name. One revolves around the first collected killer whale that was named Namu after a British Colubian town. When SeaWorld welcomed its first killer whale, it was named Shamu, which means "friend of Namu" in Pacifc Northwest Indian language.