Galapagos Short Finned Pilot Whale Facts

Name: Galapagos Short Finned Pilot Whale
Family: Delphinidae
Scientific Name: Globicephala macrorhyncus
Length: Males 5.5 meters (18 ft) Females 3.7 meters (12 ft) Juveniles 1.4–1.9 m (4 ft 7 in–6 ft 3 in)
Weight: Adults 1,000 to 3,000 kg (2200-6600 lbs) Juveniles 60 kg (130 lb)
Lifespan: Males live nearly 45 years, whereas females can live up to 60 years

Blow: Distinctly bushy
Breaching: Occasional, various angles
Group size: Family groups of 2 - 50

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.

Occasionally seen offshore.

The Short-finned Pilot Whale is one of the easiest species to identify due to its characteristic shape and behavior. On surfacing, the bulbous, rounded head precedes a robust body with a dorsal fin set well forward. Behind the dorsal fin is a pale 'saddle patch' followed by a long back and tail stock. In both sexes the dorsal fin is very broad at the base, but this is especially so in adult males which have a large, flag-shaped fin. Because they tend to feed at night, most of the day is spent either traveling at a leisurely pace or logging.

Galapagos Short Finned Pilot Whale