Baby orca flukes! In the first photo, you can …

Baby orca flukes! In the first photo, you can actually see the blood vessels that supply the flukes with oxygen.

Killer whale calves have an orange/yellow color for the first few years of life. It eventually fades to the adult white coloration after about 3-4 years. There are several thoughts as to why this occurs; the leading hypothesis is that killer whale calves are actually jaundice at birth as their livers work overtime to process old red blood cells. Another possible explanation is that their skin may be stained by amniotic fluid. Despite this being a common phenomenon seen across all killer whale populations, it is actually relatively understudied and we don’t know the exact cause at this time.