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Australian Wildlife

  Long-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala melas)





Long-finned Pilot Whale | Globicephala melas photo
Globicephala melas in the Strait of Gibraltar

Image by Aleuze - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)

Long-finned Pilot Whale | Globicephala melas photo
Globicephala melas, Cape Breton island

Image by Barney Moss - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)

Long-finned Pilot Whale | Globicephala melas photo
Globicephala melas, Cape Breton island

Image by Barney Moss - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



MAMMAL FACTS

Description
The Long-finned pilot whale is black with a white belly. The body is robust and cylindrical in shape, tapering towards the long tail. The head is rounded. The dorsal fin is low with long base and positioned well forward on the body. The flippers are up to about a quarter of the body length.

Size
The average length is 5m - 6m. Males may grow up to 8m.

Habitat
open ocean

Food
They eat squid and small fish using echolocation to help them locate food. They can dive to 600m deep in search of food.

Breeding
Single calf is born after gestation of 15 to 16 months. The young are weaned after about 20 months. The young are about 1.4 m at birth and brown or gray-brown in color.

Range
Found in cooler waters of both northern and southern hemispheres. The northern and southern populations are separated by the warm tropical waters and do not interbreed.



Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Cetacea
Family:Delphinidae
Genus:Globicephala
Species:melas
Common Name:Long-finned Pilot Whale

Relatives in same Genus
  Short-finned Pilot Whale (G. macrorhynchus)