- Aerial Scan - an orca raises its
head at an angle starting from a horizontal position.
- Backdive - an orca leaps out of
the water and exposes two-thirds or more of its body and then lands on
- Bellyflop - an orca leaps out
of the water and exposes two-thirds or more of its body and then lands
on its ventral surface.
- Breach - an orca leaps out of the
water and exposes two-thirds or more of its body and then lands on its
- Burp - an above-surface vocalization that sounds like a whale is
- Bubble Blowing - the sound that is produced as the orca releases
air from its blowhole under water.
- Cartwheel - an orca throws its
flukes, caudal peduncle,
and rear part of its body from one side to another in at least a 45-degree
- Dorsal Fin Slap - an orca rolls on its side and hits the dorsal fin on the surface of the water with force.
- Fluke Lift - an orca brings its
flukes up and down above the water in a fluid motion
with no force.
- Fluke Wave - an orca lifts its
flukes and part of its caudal
peduncle above the water, pauses for at least two seconds, and then
brings its flukes down with no force.
- Half Breach - an orca leaps out
of the water and exposes only half of its body, landing on its side.
- Inverted Pectoral Slap - while on its back, an orca raises its pectoral flippers straight up and slaps the dorsal
surfaces down on the water's surface. (Many times an inverted pectoral
slap is immediately followed by an inverted tail lob.)
- Inverted Taillob
- while on its back, an orca raises its flukes
above the water's surface and brings them down with force.
- Kelping - an orca "plays"
with seaweed by dragging it on any body part; often it tries to position
the seaweed in the notch of its flukes.
- Lunge - an orca breaks the surface of the water with its rostrum, melon and a large part of
its body in a charging mode. Many times the lunge has a sideways component,
expecially when the orca is chasing something.
- Mating - a male orca actually inserts its penis into the female
orca's genital slit.
- Pectoral Slap - an orca lies on
its side, lifts a pectoral flipper, and slaps it
on the water's surface with force.
- Pectoral Wave - an orca lifts a
pectoral flipper in the air for at least two seconds
and brings it down with no force.
- Rolling - an orca rolls halfway
or all the way around in the water, along its longitudinal axis. This behavior
is very helpful for researchers to determine the sex
of a killer whale.
- Seasnake - the pink male penis
which in adult males attains a length of 3-feet.
- Spyhop - an orca raises its head
vertically above the water, at least above the eye level, and then slips
back below the water's surface.
- Tactile - an orca coming into physical
contact with another orca; for example, caressing one another with their
pectoral flippers, or rubbing rostrums.
- Taillob - an orca lifts its tail
flukes above the water and brings them down with
- Tail Trashing - an orca violently
trashes his tail fluke through the surface. Often
seen when in pursuit of prey.