melon headed whale
galapagos melon headed whale facts
Name: Galapagos Melon Headed Whale
Scientific Name: Peponocephala electra
Length: 2 - 2.7 m (6.5 - 8.9 ft)
Weight: 275 kg (606 lbs)
Adult Length: 2 - 2.7 m (6.5 - 8.9 ft)
Blow: Generally not visible
Group size: Generally 50+
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.
This small, slender species is akin in size and shape to most dolphins. However its all black coloration and lack of a prominent beak distinguish it. Confusion is most likely with the Pygmy Killer Whale which is extremely similar. Close views in good light are required but there are several subtle differences. Perhaps most diagnostic is head shape which is slightly pointed or 'melon-shaped'. Other differences include slimmer and more sharply pointed flippers, lack of a dark cape, and a short but distinct beak, often present on females and juveniles.