Friday, October 7, 2011

Life of Melon Headed Whale

Life of Sea | Melon Headed Whale (Peponocephala electra) | Melon headed whales are found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world, mostly in the Philippine Sea. This is good site for seeing the whale, because the continental shelf is narrow. They favor warm, pelagic waters. The melon-headed whale is not often seen by humans because they prefer deep water. Melon headed whales travel in pods of 100-1000, although even larger pads have also been reported

Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:     Chordata
Class:     Mammalia
Order:     Cetacea
Family:     Delphinidae
Genus:     Peponocephala
Species:     P. electra

Melon headed whales, close in size to Pygmy killer whales and two species with a strong resemblance from a distance. The Melon headed whale has a slightly rounded triangular head when viewed from above or below. When viewed from the side, the head rounded. Females and juveniles have an indistinct beak. They have a distinct dorsal fin is located in the middle of their backs. Their flippers are long and pointed at the ends, a feature that differs from the more rounded fins of the pygmy killer whale. Melon headed whales have twice as many teeth as the Pygmy killer whale. 

They are dark gray to black in color with white to light gray color on their belly (bottom) side and, like the Pygmy killer whale, white lips. The black triangular "mask" on the face makes them more uniform color of the Pygmy killer whales. Melon headed whales have a cape diving far below the dorsal fin than that of Pygmy killer whales, although the margin is often vague. Melon headed whales are highly sociable and more likely to be seen in large pods than the Pygmy killer whale. They usually come in pods of 100 to 500. Animals in a pod are often tightly packed and make frequent price changes.


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