Galapagos False Killer Whale Facts

Name: Galapagos False Killer Whale
Family: Delphinidae
Scientific Name: Pseudorca crassidens
Length: Males 6.1 m (20 ft) Females 5.1 m (17 ft)
Weight: Males 2,200 kg (4,900 lb) Females 1,200 kg (2,600 lb)

Adult Length: 4-6 m (13 - 21 ft)
Blow: Inconspicuous and bushy
Breaching: Frequent, various angles
Group size: 2 - 200

Category: Blackfish

Five species or Blackfish have been recorded in Galapagos. The blackfish include the largest members of the dolphin family: the killer and pilot whales. They are predominantly black with conspicuous dorsal fins. The jaws contain many well-developed conical teeth, but the beak is small or lacking. Like other dolphins they are highly social, fast and acrobatic, often breaching, spy-hopping and lobtailing. They are extremely effective and powerful pack-hunters, able to catch fish, squid, and in some cases, marine mammals.

Occasional offshore and inshore.

Similar in shape to Melon-headed Whale and Pygmy Killer Whale but much larger and more powerful. Confusion is perhaps most likely with female Orca or Short-finned Pilot Whale. With good views the all-dark body distinguishes it from the former, and its slender, rounded head and body, with a dolphin-like dorsal fin, separates it from the latter. The position of the dorsal fin also differs from that of the Pilot Whale, being set further back at the mid-point of the back. At the surface False Killer Whales are often highly active swimmers, lifting their whole heads and bodies out of the water whilst traveling. Known to attack other cetaceans, including Sperm Whales, in Galapagos.

Galapagos False Killer Whale

© Juan Ortega / Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)