Orcas or Killer whales are a rare sight around the island of Madeira, typically seen only 2-3 times per year. Killer whales are the most widely distributed marine mammal around the world with distinct eco-types of Orcas that have adapted to ocean conditions in their regions. These eco-types varieties include; resident, transient and offshore. The pods seen in Madeira are believed to be transient or offshore eco-types. Orcas have distinct family groups that have unique dialects, traditions and hunting areas. They live in matrilineal families with the oldest female being the head of the group.