Female orcas are thought to have an average
life span of 50 years but may live to 80 years or even longer. In
recent years several of the older females in the northern resident
community have died, leaving the oldest females only approximately
60 years old. There is, however, a female in the southern resident
community who is thought to be between 80 and 90 years old! The longevity
of the adult females ensures the stability of the social structure.
Male orcas have much shorter life spans, with an average of only about
30 years and a maximum of perhaps 50 years.