Long-finned Pilot Whale images

 
   
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Long-finned Pilot Whale Facts and Photos on this Whale This is Really A Dolphin

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The Long-finned Pilot Whale, Globicephala melas, is not a whale at all, but in fact belongs to the oceanic dolphin family, along with its close relative the short-finned pilot whale, Globicephala macrorhynchus. Pilot whales live in both northern and southern waters, although the long-finned pilot whale prefers the colder and more temperate oceans.

Long-finned pilot whales are very social and live in large groups of up to a hundred animals, usually with a dominant male as leader. They will also group with some dolphin species.  They are black or very dark grey with some grey or white markings on the throat and underside. They have a bulb shaped forehead, a sickle shaped dorsal fin, and the distinctive long flippers that give it its name, and can be up to 20 percent of its body length. Males grow to around 20 feet long, and are much larger than females that grow to around 16 feet.

The long-finned pilot whale eats mostly squid, but will also consume octopus, cuttlefish and small fish. They dive to catch they prey, diving down to between 40 and 60 feet, and a feeding dive may last as long as ten minutes. They have also been observed hunting in groups, circling to trap their prey in the middle of the group. They have a wide range of vocalizations, using noise for communication, as well as using echo location to detect prey.

Long-finned pilot whales have been known to mass strand, with the whole group trying to beach together. The reasons are not known, although it may be mis-navigation due to irregularities in the magnetic field, or possibly parasitic infections causing navigation problems. Their strong social bonding causes the whole group to follow a stranding leader.

Hunters take advantage of this social grouping and drive entire herds to the beach for mass slaughter. They are killed for meat, bone, and oil. Man additionally captures long-finned pilot whales, like other dolphins, and uses them for captive exhibition in aquariums and zoos.

The population figures for the long-finned pilot whale are not known but it is numerous and not considered endangered.

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Picture of long-finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas, with cookie cutter shark mark

Picture #: 133816

Stock photo of long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas, rescued by Dept. of Conservation and volunteers after December 1993 stranding of mixed pod of 63 individuals, Farewell Spit, Golden Bay, South Island, New Zealand

Picture #: 009082

Image of long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas, adults with newborn calf, Azores Islands, Portugal, Atlantic Ocean

Picture #: 008643

Photo of long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas, stranded in shallow water, Northland, New Zealand, Pacific Ocean

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Picture of long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas, France, North Atlantic Ocean

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Stock photo of long-finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas, spyhop, Ligurian Sea, Italy, Mediterranean

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Image of long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas, New Zealand, Pacific Ocean

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Photo of long-finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas, at the surface, showing pattern on underside of belly, Ligurian Sea, Italy, Mediterranean

Picture #: 025411

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Picture of long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas, spyhopping, Ligurian Sea, Italy, Mediterranean

Picture #: 025467

Stock photo of long-finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas, infant, Ligurian Sea, Italy, Mediterranean

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Image of long-finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas, New Zealand, Pacific Ocean

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Photo of long-finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas, with suction cup attached tag, Ligurian Sea, Italy, Mediterranean

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Pen and ink illustration of long-finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas

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Stock photo of long-finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas, calf with fetal folds, Ligurian Sea, Italy, Mediterranean

Picture #: 025415

Image of long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas, mother and calf, Nova Scotia, Canada, Atlantic Ocean

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Photo of long-finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas, researchers labeling individual bones of skeleton found on remote coastline, Andoya Vesteralen, Arctic Norway

Picture #: 097210

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Picture of long-finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas, tail throw, Ligurian Sea, Italy, Mediterranean

Picture #: 025413

Stock photo of long-finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas, dead at stranding, Northland, New Zealand, Pacific

Picture #: 090797

Image of long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas, stranded in shallow water, Northland, New Zealand, Pacific

Picture #: 090572

Photo of long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas, New Zealand, Pacific Ocean

Picture #: 063554

 

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