Marine Mammal Research & Conservation

Long-finned pilot whale


Long-finned Pilot whale (Globicephala melas)

Group formation: Matrifocal groups (5-15) several matrilineal groups (size 50-200)

Size: males 7.8 m, females 5.8 m, calf 1.8 m

Weight: males 2.3 t, females 1.3 t, calf 100 kg

Age: males 40 yrs, females 60 yrs

Sexual maturity: males 12-15 yrs, females 6-15 yrs

Gestation: 12-15 mths, 3-5 yrs in between births

Weaning: 27 mths or longer (up to 10 yrs)

Diet: squid (cephalopods) and some fish

Distribution: Two sub-species: North Atlantic (Globicephala melas melas), and the Southern Hemisphere (Globicephala melas edwardii)

Chile: off the coast in deeper water, Beagle channel, but mostly unknown.

Conservation Status: Data Deficient ver 3.1, Pop. trend: unknown

Threats: whaling (Faeroe Islands, Japan, Greenland), plastic pollution, man-made noise impacts (seismic surveys, military sonar), entanglement in fishing gear, over fishing, captivity.