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False Killer Whale


Scientific Name:
Pseudorca crassidens
Length:
5.0 - 6.0 m (16.4 - 19.7 ft)
Weight:
2000 kg (4400 lbs)
Status:
data deficient
Prey:
Fish (including mahi-mahi and tuna), cephalopods and other marine mammals

Physical characteristics

They have a rounded head and no beak. They are fully black or gray on the upperside and have white stripes on the underside.

Behavioral characterization

They are curious around boats and generally seen in deeper waters.

Distribution

Tropical and warmer-temperate oceans worldwide

Population size

Unknown

Predators

Sharks

Migration/Dispersal patterns

They move from warmer, southern waters in winter to cooler, northern waters in summer. The population around Hawaii shows strong site fidelity.

Social system/Group size

Most commonly seen in groups of 10 - 20 with about equal numbers of males and females. Long-term bonds have been documented in Hawaii.

Major threats

They are hunted for food and killed to reduce competition for fisheries. Pollution and noise may have led to several mass strandings.

Research efforts

N/A

Fun fact

Despite the name "false killer whale", is not closely related to the orca.