Pilot Whales, Globicephala macrorhynchus and G. melas
There are two species of pilot whales, the Short-finned (G. macrorhynchus) and Long-finned (G. melas), but they are difficult to tell apart in the field—as their names would indicate, their fins are different lengths and they have different body markings. They are large dolphin species, second only in size to the Orca. The Short-finned whale is widely distributed in tropical and temperate waters. The Long-finned is found in cooler waters with a much smaller range.
Pilot whales feed primarily on squid, but will also feed on other cephalopods and fish. Both species have fewer teeth than most dolphins, a tendency displayed by other squid-eaters. The teeth are used only for catching and holding as opposed to tearing food. Pilot whales are highly social and live in tight-knit pods. Both male and female young usually stay with their mother’s pod, an unusual trait among mammals, and female Short-finned pilots are one of the few mammals that go through menopause; post-reproductive females are thought to contribute to the survival of young.
Unfortunately, Pilot whales frequently beach themselves, sometimes in mass strandings of up to several hundred members. Their numbers also suffer from hunting and pollution, though they are not considered endangered, partly due to a lack of sufficient data to classify them as such.(x)(x)(x)
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So I decided to look up “happy birthday hamsters” and now I regret nothing.
Ban on orca captivity in California! Let’s hope this bill gets passed and turns into law! YAY!!!
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