Melon-Headed Whale
Whale Watching South Africa

Name : Melon-Headed Whale
Scientific Name : Peponocephala electra
Class : Mammalia
Family : Delphinidae
Order : Cetacea (suborder) - Odontoceti
Shape : The Melon-Headed Whale has a long and fusiform body, and its head is more pointed than that of the Pygmy Killer Whale. There is no rostrum. Each side of the upper jaw sports 20 to 25 small, pointed teeth, and each side of the lower jaw sports 22 to 24.
Fins : The dorsal fin is median, falcate, extended, and rather high. The flippers are relatively short and about 20 percent of the total body length. The flukes have a median notch.
Length : It measures 2.20 - 2.80 metres. Newborns measure between 90 and 120 cm.
Weight : Its weight varies between 160 - 200 kg.
Colour : The body is black or dark grey, except for the noticeably lighter stomach and genital parts, and the areas between the pectoral fins and close to the anus, which are grey or white. There is also a small grey or white lip line.
Diet : Stomach contents revealed fish otoliths, octopus beaks, isopods, shrimps, beaks of Loligo reynaudi and hake.
Population : It does not seem particularly rare, especially in the Pacific.
Habits : The Melon-headed Whale creates a lot of foam as it comes above the water surface to breathe. It travels in groups of 5 - 30, sometimes even 200 - 500.
Distribution : It frequents the tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans.

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Whale Watching South Africa : Whale Trail Hermanus, Cape Whale Coast, Garden Route
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