Long-Finned Pilot Whale

Globicephala melas

The scientific name of this species means »black globe-head«. Pilot whales are a slow swimming species that do not undertake long distance migrations, but primarily follow their prey. An adult male may be up to 6 m long and weigh about 3.5 tons.

12–15 families of pilot whales habe their feeding grounds in the Strait of Gibraltar, so we can watch them regularly.

  • Presence in the Strait of Gibraltar: all year round
  • Other names: pothead whale, longfin pilot whale, Atlantic pilot whale, blackfish
Long-finned pilot whale

Interesting Facts

Suborder: toothed whales
Family: Delphinidae (dolphins)
Size: 4–6 m
Weight: 1.8–3.5 t
Diet: squid and fish; 27 kg/day
Status: not endangered

Distinguishing Features

  • almost consistently dark-grey or brownish
  • bright w-shaped patch on the chest
  • very long flippers
  • low falcate fin
  • flukes with distinct notch