You are currently viewing Short-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus)

Short-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus)

Short-finned Pilot Whale. Bottlenose dolphin: Also known as “Pilot Whale” or “Short-finned pilot whale”, it belongs to the dolphin family. It is a cetacean with teeth (odontocete) and its name of whale is due to its size: it can exceed 5 meters in length and weigh between 1 and 2 tons. It is the easiest specimen to find on a sighting trip in Tenerife.

Short-finned Pilot Whale

Globicephala macrorhynchus is a species of cetacean commonly known as the short-finned pilot whale. It is a member of the family Delphinidae and is found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world.

Pilot whales are large, robust dolphins that can grow to a length of 6 metres and weigh up to 3 tonnes. They have a dark grey body with a white spot on the pectoral region and a prominent, rounded head with a short, broad beak.

These dolphins are highly social and are typically found in groups that can be very large, with up to several hundred individuals. They are known for their acrobatic behaviour and are often seen leaping and spinning in the air.

Pilot whales feed mainly on squid and fish, and are very effective predators in the water. However, like many other cetacean species, they are threatened by bycatch, pollution and habitat disturbance.

In some places, pilot whales are hunted by humans for their meat and blubber, although this is becoming less common due to restrictions and regulations on whaling and dolphin hunting. Despite these efforts, the species is still considered vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).