Short-finned Pilot Whale
Whale Watching South Africa

© © Robin Baird

Name : Short-finned Pilot Whale
Scientific Name : Globicephalus macrorhynchus
Class : Mammalia
Family : Delphinidae
Order : Cetacea suborder - Odontoceti
Shape : The adult Short-finned Pilot Whale's body morphology is identical to that of the Long-finned Pilot Whale. The body is sturdy and long, with a predominant melon that develops with age. There are 7 - 12 large cone-shaped teeth on each half-jaw.
Fins : The dorsal fin is falcate, short, and extended, and it is placed ahead of the midpoint of the body. The pectoral fins are falcate and shorter than in the Long-finned Pilot Whale. The flukes have a median notch.
Length : The male measures between 5.50 - 6.70 metres. For females, the average is 4 - 5 metres, and newborns measure 1.35 to 1.45 metres.
Weight : Adults weigh between 1 - 4 tons and newborns about 60 kg.
Colour : The body is generally black, with a grey anchor-shaped stain from the chin to the anus. This does not appear on the population of the Southern Hemisphere.
Diet : It feeds mostly on octopus and fish. Daily consumption is 20 to 45 kg of food a day.
Population : It is common within its distribution area. As many as 200 - 300 are harpooned to death each year off St Vincent in the Caribbean.
Migration : Generally nomadic, with no fixed migrations.
Habits : Prefers deep water and it moves in herds of 40 to a hundred. Mass strandings throughout the world.
Distribution : This Short-finned Pilot Whalel frequents all of the tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean.

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