Pilot Whale

ORDER: CETACEA

SUBORDER: ODONTOCETI

FAMILY: DELPHINIDAE

GENDER: GLOBICEPHALA

SPECIES: Long-finned pilot whale (Trail 1809)

Globicefalo, long finned pilot whale, calderòn, globicéphale noir, Grindwal

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The pilot whale has sexual dimorphism. The male reaches 7 meters in length and  3 tons in weight, the female is slightly smaller (about 5.5 meters). The body is solid. Has a very small rostrum because of a high globosity of the head.  Sometimes you can notice a little messy puff . The color is jet black or dark brown in adults and creamy light brown in the young ones. In the adults there is always a large white spot in chest and belly.

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The pilot whale is a gregarious species that forms flocks of tens or thousands of  specimem. It’s feeding in depth and feeds mainly on cephalopods especially squid and similars. Widely distributed from temperate to sub-polar waters, pilot whales are killed accidentally in gillnets, bottom trawls and long lines nets. The only area where direct killings continue on a large scale is the Faroe Islands, where the annual catch has increased from an average of about 1500 in the '70s up to 2500 in the ‘80s to decrease then in the years to up to 1000 to 1500 in '90s. In the Mediterranean Sea, the species is not sufficiently studied to estimate the population and the distribution.