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Long-Finned Pilot Whale


Scientific Name:
Globicephala melas
Length:
male: 7.6 m (25 ft); female: 5.8 m (19 ft)
Weight:
male: 2300 kg (5000 lbs); female: 1300 kg (2900 lbs)
Status:
data deficient
Prey:
Small - medium sized fish and squid

Physical characteristics

They are dark black - grey or brown with grey or white marks and they have a pair of long pectoral flippers.

Behavioral characterization

Known to be a leisure swimmer, often seen floating motionless at the surface. The young like to breach.

Distribution

Sub-polar and temperate zones; found in the North Atlantic and the southern hemisphere.

Population size

900,000

Predators

Humans

Migration/Dispersal patterns

Inshore - offshore movements that correlate to the movement of their prey.

Social system/Group size

Groups of up to 100 are common and the pods are very stable. Often, they are seen in mixed groups with the Atlantic white-sided dolphin and the bottlenose dolphin.

Major threats

Ca. 850 animals are hunted legally per year, although illegal hunting continues. Other threats are overfishing, noise and pollution.

Research efforts

N/A

Fun fact

They are the most common species to mass strandings with the most extreme one being 800 whales.