Orca - Orcinus orca (Linnaeus, 1758)

Para más información sobre cada apartado hacer click en:






Estatus de conservación






Ecología trófica


Biología de la reproducción


Interacciones entre especies








Aguilar, A., Grau, E. (1998). Orca Orcinus orca (Linnaeus, 1758). En: Blanco, J. C. Mamíferos de España, Vol. II. Ed. Geoplaneta, Barcelona.

Andreu, E., Medina, B., García, A., Martínez, M., Gallego, P., Cervera, J. L. (2009). Breves periodos de ausencia de Calderón común Globicephala melas (Traill, 1809) en el Estrecho de Gibraltar. Galemys, 21 (Número Especial): 181-194.

Baird, R. W. (1994). Foraging behaviour and ecology of transient killer whales (Orcinus orca). B. Sc. Thesis. Simon Fraser University.

Baird, R. W., Dill, L. M. (1995). Occurrence and behaviour of transient killer whales: seasonal and pod-specific variability, foraging behaviour, and prey handling. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 73: 1300-1311.

Baker, C. S., Lukoschek, V., Lavery, S., Dalebout, M. L., Yong-un, M., Endo, T., Funahashi, N. (2006). Incomplete reporting of whale, dolphin and porpoise “bycatch” revealed by molecular monitoring of Korean markets. Animal Conservation, 9: 474-482.

Barrett-Lennard, L. G., Ford, J. K. B., Heise, K. A. (1996). The mixed blessing of echolocation: differences in sonar use by fish-eating and mammal-eating killer whales. Animal Behaviour, 51: 553-565.

Bigg, M. A., Olesiuk, P. F., Ellis, G. M., Ford, J. K. B., Balcomb, K. C. (1990). Social organization and genealogy of resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the coastal waters of British Columbia and Washington State. Report of the International Whaling Commission, special issue 12: 383–405.

Burdin, A. M., Hoyt, E., Filatova, O. A., Ivkovich, T. V., Tarasyan, K. K., Sato H. (2007). Status of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Eastern Kamchatka (Russian Far East) based on photo-identification and acoustic studies. Preliminary results. IWC Scientific Committee (SC/59/SM4). 11 pp.

Cañadas, A., de Stephanis, R. (2006). Orcinus orca. Pp. 34-38. En: Reeves, R., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G. (Eds.). The status and distribution of Cetaceans in the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea. IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, Malaga.

Casinos, A. (1981). Notes on cetaceans of the Iberian coasts: A record of Orcinus orca (Linnaeus, 1758) from the island of Minorca. Sauget. Mitt., 29 (2): 80-81.

Casinos, A., Vericad, J. R. (1976). The cetaceans of the Spanish coasts: a survey. Mammalia, 40 (2): 267-289.

Christensen, I. (1988). Distribution, movements and abundance of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Norwegian coastal waters, 1982-1987, based on questionnaire surveys. Pp.: 79-88. En: Sigurjónsson, J., Leatherwood, S. (Eds.). North Atlantic Killer Whales, Vol. 11. Marine Institute Reykjavic.

Craighead, J., Philo, L. M., Hazard, K., Withrow, D., Carroll, G. M., Suydam, R. (1994). Frequency of Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) attacks and ship collisions based on scarring on Bowhead Whales (Balaena mysticetus) of the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Seas stock. Artic, 47 (3): 247-255.

Dahlheim, M. E. (1988). Killer whale (Orcinus orca) depredation on longline catches of sablefish (Anoplopoma frimbria) in Alaskan waters. Northwest and Alaska Fisheries center. National Marine Fisheries Service.

Dahlheim, M. E., Ellifrit, D. K., Swenson, J. D. (1997). Killer whales (Orcinus orca) of Southeast Alaska: A catalogue of photo-identified individuals. National Marine Mammal Laboratory, National Marine Fisheries Service, Seatttle. 79 pp.

Dahlheim, M. E., Heyning, J. E. (1998). Killer whale Orcinus orca (Linnaeus, 1758). Pp: 281-309. En: Ridgway, S.H., Harrison, R. (Eds.). Handbook of Marine Mammals, Volume 6: The Second Book of Dolphins and Porpoises. Academic Press, Orlando.

de la Serna, J. M., Ortiz de Urbina, J. M., Godoy, M. D., Majuelos, E. (2010). Interacción de la orca (Orcinus orca), con las pesquerías de atún rojo (Thunnus thynnus L.) en el área del estrecho de Gibraltar. International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, 65: 744-754.

de Stephanis, R., Cornulier, T., Verborgh, P., Salazar Sierra, J. M., Pérez Gimeno, N., Guinet, C. (2008). Summer spatial distribution of cetaceans in the Strait of Gibraltar in relation to the oceanographic context. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 353: 275-288.  

Deecke, V. B. (1998). Stability and change of killer whale (Orcinus orca) dialects. B. Sc. Thesis. The University of British Columbia.

Esteban, R. (2008). Abundancia, estructura social y parámetros de historia natural de la orca (Orcinus orca) en el Estrecho de Gibraltar. Tesis de máster. Universidad de Cádiz. Facultad de ciencias del mar y ambientales. Departamento de Biología. 70 pp.

Esteban, R., Verborgh, P., Gauffier, P., Giménez, J., Afán, I., Cañadas, A., García, P., Murcia, J. L., Magalhaes, S., Andreu, E., de Stephanis, R. (2014). Identifying key habitat and seasonal patterns of a critically endangered population of killer whales. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 94 (6): 1317-1325.

Ford, J. K. B. (2002). Killer Whale Orcinus orca. Pp.: 650-657. En: Perrin, W. F., Würsig, B., Thewissen, J. G. M. (Eds.). Encyclopedia of marine mammals. 2nd Edition. Academic Press, London.

Ford, J. K. B., Ellis, G. M., Barrett-Lennard, L. G., Morton, A. B., Palm, R. S., Balcomb, K. C. (1998). Dietary specialization in two sympatric populations of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in coastal British Columbia and adjacent waters. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 76: 1456-1471.

Gaydos, J. K., Balcomb, K. C., Osborne, R. W., Dierauf, L. (2004). Evaluating potential infectious disease threats for southern resident killer whales, Orcinus orca: a model for endangered species. Biological Conservation, 117: 253-262.

Guinet, C., Barrett-Lennard, L. G., Loyer, B. (2000). Coordinated attack behavior and prey sharing by killer whales at Crozet Archipielago: strategies for feeding on negatively-buoyant prey. Marine Mammal Science, 16(4): 829-834.

Guinet, C., Domenici, P., de Stephanis R., Barrett-Lennard, L.,Ford, J. K. B., Verborgh, P. (2007). Killer whale predation on bluefin tuna: exploring the hypothesis of the endurance-exhaustion technique. Context Sensitive LinksMarine Ecology-Progress Series, 347: 111-119.

Heise, K., Barrett-Lennard, L. G., Sautilis, E., Matkin, C., Bain, D. (2003). Examining the evidence for killer whale predation on Steller sea lions in British Columbia and Alaska. Aquatic Mammals, 29 (3): 325-334.

Heyning, J. E. (1989). Comparative facial Anatomy of Beaked Whales (Ziphiidae) and a Systematic Revision Among the Families of Extant Odontoceti. Nat. Hist. Mus. Los Angeles County Contributions in Science, 405: 1-64.

Heyning, J. E., Dahlheim, M. E. (1988). Orcinus orca. Mammalian Species, 304: 1-9.

Jefferson, T. A., Stacey, P. J., Baird, B. W. (1991). A review of killer whale interactions with other marine mammals: predation to co-existence. Mammal Review, 21 (4): 151-180.

Jones, I. M. (2006). A northeast pacific offshore killer whale (Orcinus orca) feeding on a pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis). Marine Mammal Science, 22 (1): 198-200.

Kuker, K., Barrett-Lennard, L. G. (2010). A re-evaluation of the role of killer whales Orcinus orca in a population decline of sea otters Enhydra lutris in the Aleutian Islands and a review of alternative hypotheses. Mammal Review, 40 (2): 103-124.

Lambert, O., Bianucci, G., Post, K., de Muizon, C., Salas-Gismondi, R., Urbina, M., Reumer, J. (2019). The giant bite of a new raptorial sperm whale from the Miocene epoch of Peru. Nature, 466: 105-108.

Leatherwood, J. S., Dahlheim, M. E. (1978). Worldwide distribution of pilot whales and killer whales. Naval Ocean Systems Center, Tech. Rep., 443: 1-39.

Ljungblad, D. K., Moore, S. E. (1983). Killer whales (Orcinus orca) chasing gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) in the Northern Bering Sea. Artic, 36 (4): 361-364.

Lyamin, O., Pryaslova, J., Lance, V., Siegel, J. (2005). Animal behaviour: continuous activity in cetaceans after birth. Nature, 435: 1177-1178.

Matkin, C. O., Barrett-Lennard, L. G., Yurk, H., Ellifrit, D., Trites, A. W. (2007). Ecotypic variation and predatory behaviour among killer whales (Orcinus orca) off the eastern Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Fisheries Bulletin, 105: 74-87.

Matkin, C. O., Matkin, D. R., Ellis, G. M., Sau-litis, E., McSweeney, D. (1997). Movements of resident killer whales in southeastern Alaska and Prince William Sound, Alaska. Marine Mammal Science, 13 (3): 469-475.

Matkin, C. O., Saulitis, E. L., Ellis, G. M., Olesiuk, R., Rice, S. D. (2008). Ongoing population-level impacts on killer whales Orcinus orca following the “Exxon Valdez” oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 356: 269-281.

Mead, J. G., Fordyce, R. E. (2009). The therian skull: a lexicon with emphasis on the odontocetes. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 627: 249 pp.

Miller, P. J. O., Shapiro, A. D., Deecke, V. B. (2010). The diving behaviour of mammal-eating killer whales  (Orcinus orca):variations with ecological not physiological factors. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 88 (11): 1103-1112.

Morin, P. A., Archer, F., Foote, A. D., Vilstrup, J., Allen, E. E., Wade, P., Durban, J., Parsons, K., Pitman, R., Li, L., Bouffard, P., Nielsen, S. C. A., Rasmussen, M., Willerslev, E., Gilbert, M. T. P., Harkins, T.  (2010). Complete mitochondrial genome phylogeographic analysis of killer whales (Orcinus orca) indicates multiple species. Genome Research, 20 (7): 908-916.

Morin, P. A., Parsons, K. M., Archer, F. I., Ávila-Arcos, M. C., Barrett-Lennard, L. G., Dalla Rosa, L., Duchene, S., Durban, J. W., Ellis, G. M., Ferguson, S. H., Ford, J. K., Ford, M. J., Garilao, C., Gilbert, M. T. P., Kaschner, K., Matkin, C. O., Petersen, S. D., Robertson, K. M., Visser, I. N., Wade, P. R., Ho, S. Y. W., Foote, A. D. (2015). Geographic and temporal dynamics of a global radiation and diversification in the killer whale. Molecular Ecology, 24 (15): 3964-3979.

Notarbartolo di Sciara, G. (1987). Killer whale, Orcinus orca, in the Mediterranean Sea. Marine Mammal Science, 3 (4): 356-360.
Olesiuk, P. F., Bigg, M. A., Ellis, G. M. (1990). Life history and population dynamics of resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the coastal waters of British Columbia and Washington State. Report of the International Whaling Commission, Special Issue 12: 209-243.

Raga, J. A., Raduan, M. A., Blanco, C. (1985). Contribución al estudio de la distribución de cetáceos en el Mediterráneo y Atlántico Ibérico. Miscellania Zoologica, 9: 361-366.

Rayne, S., Ikonomou, M. G., Ross, P. S., Ellis, G. M., Barrett-Lennard, L. G. (2004). PBDEs, PBBs, and PCNs in three communities of free-ranging killer whales (Orcinus orca) from the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Environmental Science and Technology, 38: 4293-4299.

Rodríguez, Roda, J. (1978). Rendimiento de las almadrabas del sur de España durante los años 1962 a 1977 en la pesca del atún Thunnus thynnus (L.). Investigación Pesquera, 42 (2): 443-454.

Ross, P. S. (2006). Fireproof killer whales (Orcinus orca): flame-retardant chemicals and the conservation imperative in the charismatic icon of British Columbia, Canada. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 63: 224-234.

Ross, P. S., Ellis, G. M., Ikonomou, M. G., Barrett-Lennard, L. G., Addison, R. F. (2000). High PCB concentrations in free-ranging Pacific killer whales, Orcinus orca: effects of age, sex and dietary preference. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 40 (6): 504-515.

Samarra, F. I. P., Tavares, S. B., Beesau, J., Deecke, V. B., Fennell, A., Miller, P. J. O., Petursson, H., Sigurjonsson, J., Vikingsson, G. A. (2017). Movements and site fidelity of killer whales (Orcinus orca) relative to seasonal and long-term shifts in herring (Clupea harengus) distribution. Marine Biology, 164 (8): 159.

Shelden, K. E., Rugh, D. J., Mahoney, B. A., Dahlheim, M. E. (2003). Killer whale predation on belugas in Cook Inlet, Alaska: implications for a depleted population. Marine Mammal Science, 19 (3): 529-544.

Sigurjónsson, J. (1994). Orcinus orca (Linnaeus, 1758) – Schwertwal, Grosser Schwertwal. Pp. 433-468. En: Robineau, D., Duguy, R., Klima, M. (Eds.). Band 6: Meeressaüger. Teil I: Wale und Delphine – Cetacea. Teil IA: Einführung, Monodontidae, Phocoenidae, Delphinidae. En: Niethammer, F., Krapp, F. (Eds.). Handbuch der Saügetiere Europas. Aula Verlag, Wiesbaden.

Sigurjónsson, J., Lyrholm, T., Leatherwood, S., Jónsson, E., Víkingsson, G. (1988). Photoidentification of killer whales, Orcinus orca, off Iceland, 1981 through 1986. Rit fiskideildar, 11: 99–114.

Taylor, B. L., Baird, R., Barlow, J., Dawson, S. M., Ford, J., Mead, J. G., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Wade, P., Pitman, R. L. (2010). Orcinus orca. En: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>.

Visser, I. N., Smith, T. G., Bullock, I. D., Green, G. D., Carlsson, O. G. L., Imberti, S. (2008). Antarctic peninsula killer whales (Orcinus orca) hunt seals and a penguin on floating ice. Marine Mammal Science, 24 (1): 225-234.

Ward, E. J., Holmes, E. E., Balcomb, K. C. (2009). Quantifying the effects of prey abundance on killer whale reproduction. Journal of Applied Ecology, 46: 632-640.

Williams, R., Lusseau, D., Hammond, P. S. (2006). Estimating relative energetic costs of human disturbance to killer whales (Orcinus orca). Biological Conservation, 133: 301-311.

Yurk, H., Barrett-Lennard, L. G., Ford, J. K. B., Matkin, C. O. (2002). Cultural transmission within maternal lineages: vocal clans in resident killer whales in southern Alaska. Animal Behaviour, 63: 1103-1119.

Zerbini, A. N., Waite, J. M., Durban, J. W., LeDuc, R., Dahlheim, M. E., Wade, P. R. (2007). Estimating abundance of killer whales in the nearshore waters of the Gulf of Alaska and Aleutian Islands using line-transect sampling. Marine Biology, 150: 1033-1045.




Alberto Suárez-Esteban
Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC)
Avda. Américo Vespucio s/n, 41092 Sevilla

Ismael Miján Vilasánchez
Sociedade Galega de Historia Natural, Apdo. 356 Ferrol, A Coruña

Fecha de publicación: 20-06-2011

Revisiones: 25-09-2017

Suárez-Esteban, A., Miján, I. (2017). Orca – Orcinus orca. En: Enciclopedia Virtual de los Vertebrados Españoles. Sanz, J. J., Barja, I. (Eds.). Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid. http://www.vertebradosibericos.org/