The key difference between Orca and Dolphin is that the Orca (or killer whale) is the largest member of the dolphin family while the dolphin is an aquatic mammal. Moreover, the orca is considered as one of the most powerful predators in the world.
Dolphins are aquatic mammals, and they belong to mammal group Cetacea. They are carnivores, and they feed on other marine animals such as seals, fish, whales, crustaceans, etc. Furthermore, dolphins belong to the phylum chordates. They are among the most intelligent animals, and they show a playful behaviour.
What is an Orca?
Orca is the largest member of the marine dolphins. It is also known as a killer whale and often gets confused as a whale since the name has a ‘whale’ part. Moreover, they are toothed dolphins that belong to the Cetacea. They aim for large preys. However, they have a diverse diet. Some depend on fish while some target other marine mammals such as dolphins and seals.
Moreover, the orca is considered as one of the most powerful predators in the world. The scientific name of the orca is Orcinus orca. Furthermore, they are cosmopolitan species that live in diverse marine environments in the world’s oceans. Killer whales are of three types namely resident, transient and offshore. They appear in black and white colours and are 23 to 32 ft in lengths and up to 6 tons in weight. Furthermore, they have an average lifespan of about 50 to 80 years.
What is a Dolphin?
Dolphin is an aquatic mammal. Dolphins are a diverse group of aquatic animals spread widely around the world. These marine mammals are highly intelligent. Some dolphins have teeth, and they come under the category of toothed dolphins. Orca is one of the toothed dolphins. They are carnivores, and they eat marine organisms such as fish, seals, crustaceans, whales etc. They are mostly grey in colour.
In tropical and temperate oceans, the shallow areas are the preferred habitats of most dolphin species throughout the world. However, few species live in rivers. Moreover, dolphins show playful behaviour. They leap out from the water and spy-hop and also follow ships. Dolphins differ from Porpoises by their faces, teeth, fins and figures. But both groups are alike.
What are the Similarities Between Orca and Dolphin?
- Orca is a dolphin.
- Orca and dolphin are mammals.
- They are aquatic animals.
- Furthermore, they are carnivores.
- They belong to phylum Chordata.
What is the Difference Between Orca and Dolphin?
Orca and dolphin are two aquatic mammals. Orca is the largest dolphin. Black and white are the colours of orca while most of the dolphins appear in grey. The following infographic shows the difference between Orca and Dolphin in tabular form.
Summary – Orca vs Dolphin
Dolphins are aquatic mammals. Orca is the largest dolphin species. Dolphins are toothed whales. All dolphins are whales, but not all whales are dolphins. Most of the dolphins live in shallow areas of tropical and temperate oceans throughout the world. Some species live in rivers as well. This is the difference between orca and dolphin.
1.Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Dolphin.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 4 May 2018. Available here