Life of Sea | Long Finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala melas) | Long finned pilot whale is one of the two cetacean species in the genus Globicephala. It belongs to the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae), but its behavior is closer to that of the larger whales. Long finned pilot whales are in temperate and subpolar zones. They
are found in oceanic waters and some coastal waters of the North
Atlantic, including the western Mediterranean and the North Sea. In
the western North Atlantic, they occur in high densities on the
continental slope in winter and spring months. Long finned pilot whale are deep
divers. Groups sometimes forage in broad ranks, sometimes with other species. Although they sometimes air is active, pilot whales often seen rafting in groups on the surface, apparently resting. They often spyhop, but offense is much less common.
Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Cetacea Family: Delphinidae Genus: Globicephala Species: G. melas
Externally, Long finned pilot whale seems to be relatively short-finned, G. macrorhynchus.The body is relatively robust, but the tail is long. The head is spherical, with a mouth upsloping line, and there is only a slightly perceptible bill. The fins are very long and slender, with pointed tips and curved leading edge that is "elbow." The dorsal fin is about 1/3 of the way back from the snout tip, and is low, very broad basis, and sigmoid. The tailstock is absorbe. Compared
with women, men whales have larger, more bulbous heads, larger, thicker dorsal fins, deeper tail
dark gray-brown to black in color, pilot whales have a white to light
gray anchor-shaped patch on the chest, back to the urogenital area,
after a light gray dorsal saddle, and light gray 'eyebrow' stripes. A
line extending between the front of the saddle and the eyebrow stripe
may be present, forming a cape - this tends to be mainly present in the
southern hemisphere animals.
In some temperate waters, Long finned pilot whale and Short finned pilot whales overlap in distribution. In these areas of the two species is virtually indistinguishable at sea. Tooth
counts, and relative lengths flipper (both of which are generally not
useful at sea observations), are the only reliable way to the separation
of the two. In
the lower latitude areas of its range, the Long finned pilot whale to
be confused with False killer and less likely, Pygmy killer whales and
melon in the head, but the differences in the main form
and the dorsal fin shape and position (in particular, the short,
forward facing, broad base of the dorsal fin whale pliot), it must be
possible to make the correct identification.
Long finned pilot whale are highly social, they are usually found in pods of about
20-100, but some groups contain more than 1,000 individuals. These large groups are generally scattered in small groups of 10-20. Based
on photo-identification and genetic work, Long finned pilot whales seem to live in
relatively stable, the mother based on pods, such as killer whales, and
not in liquid groups characteristic of many smaller dolphins. The coverage is thought that polygynous, this is consistent with the observed sexual dimorphism and adult sex ratio. Long finned pilot whales are deep divers, apparently. Groups sometimes forage in broad ranks, sometimes with other species. Although they sometimes air is active, pilot whales often seen rafting in groups on the surface, apparently resting. They often spyhop, but offense is much less common.
Long finned pilot whales directly in a number of large drive fishery in the North Atlantic. The most famous of these is earlier in Newfoundland, and another still active in the Faroe Islands drive fishery in Islands. The Falkland Islands, whales from the southern population. There are also incidental catches in several fisheries, including trawls, driftnets, and Ionglines. Other threats identified include live screen captures for internal and the effects of environmental pollutants.