PYGMY KILLER Whale images

 
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Pygmy Killer Whale Facts and Photos on this Whale This is Really A Dolphin

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The Pygmy Killer Whale, Feresa attenuata, despite its name, is in fact an oceanic dolphin. Its name comes from its physical similarity to its larger relative the orca, orcinus orca, also know as the killer whale, which is also an oceanic dolphin. They inhabit sub-tropical and tropical deep waters world-wide, and are frequently seen  around Japan and Hawaii, the West Indies, tropical Atlantic ocean off Africa, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Pygmy killer whales are very dark, almost black in color, with pale to white sides and underside, and some animals have white lips and a white patch under their lower jaw. It has a rounded head with no beak, a slender body that is heaver in front, and a tall dorsal fin with a tip that points backwards. Mature pygmy killer whales are six to eight feet long.

Pygmy killer whales are social, living in groups of 20 to 30 animals, and in some areas many more, even hundreds. They avoid contact with people and boats, but are aggressive with other cetaceans. They beat their flippers and flukes on the water, snap their jaws, and will spy hop and breach. This aggressive behavior discourages most predators, except large sharks and orca.

The diet of the pygmy killer whale includes large fish, squid and octopus, and they will occasionally attack small groups of smaller dolphin.

Threats to the pygmy killer whales includes mass strandings, hunting by driving groups to mass slaughter, harpooning for use as bait in long-line fisheries, and by-catch in driftnets and gill nets. 15000-45000 animals are estimated to die each year in net fisheries, but these fisheries are not regulated or monitored so the estimates vary widely. CITES lists the pygmy killer whale as a species that is not yet threatened with extinction but could become so unless strict regulations are put in place.

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Picture of pygmy killer whales, Feresa attenuata, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

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Stock photo of pygmy killer whale, Feresa attenuata, and biologist Chris Blankenship of Dolphins Plus checking the heart rate of a stranded animal before release, Florida

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Image of pygmy killer whale, Feresa attenuata, and humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

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Photo of pygmy killer whales, Feresa attenuata, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

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Picture of pygmy killer whales, Feresa attenuata, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

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Stock photo of pygmy killer whale, Feresa attenuata, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

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Image of pygmy killer whales, Feresa attenuata, Pacific Ocean

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Photo of pygmy killer whales, Feresa attenuata, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

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Picture of pygmy killer whales, Feresa attenuata, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

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Stock photo of pygmy killer whale, Feresa attenuata, in blue water off Kona, Hawaii, Central Pacific Ocean

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Image of pygmy killer whales, Feresa attenuata, in open ocean off Kona Coast of Hawaii Island, Hawaiian Islands, Central Pacific Ocean

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Photo of pygmy killer whales, Feresa attenuata, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

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Picture of pygmy killer whales, Feresa attenuata, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

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Stock photo of pygmy killer whale, Feresa attenuata, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

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Image of pygmy killer whales, Feresa attenuata, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

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Photo of pygmy killer whales, Feresa attenuata, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

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Picture of pygmy killer whales, Feresa attenuata, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

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Stock photo of pygmy killer whale, Feresa attenuata, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

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Image of pygmy killer whale, Feresa attenuata, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

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Photo of pygmy killer whales, Feresa attenuata, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

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