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Short-finned Pilot Whale Globicephala macrorhynchus

Reports of mass stranding of marine mammals usually refers to this species and mostly in the Atlantic Ocean (Irvine et al. 1979). Stranding is rare on the North American Pacific and the reports are usually of individuals that are probably ill (Wilson and Ruff 1999). However, pilot whales becomes stranded quite regularly in Australia. No one knows why strandings occur. Whales returned to the ocean often strand elsewhere along the beach.

The short-finned pilot whale is widespread and numerous (Donovan et al. 1993). Pilot whale males are larger than females. The length of males is 5.5 meters long and females are 4.25 meters long, on average (Wilson and Ruff 1999). Males weigh 3000 kilograms and females up to 1500 kilograms.



Donovan, G. P., C. H. Lockyer, and A. R. Martin. 1993. Biology of Northern Hemisphere Pilot Whales: A Collection of Papers. Reports of the International Whaling Commission, Special Issue 14. Cambridge.


Irvine, A. B., M. D. Scott, R.G. Wells and J. G. Mead. 1979. Stranding of the pilot whale, Globicephala macrorhynchus, in Florida and South Carolina. Fishery Bulletin 77:511-513.


Reeves, R. R., B. Stewart, P. Clapham and J. Powell. 2002. Guide to marine mammals of the world. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.


Wilson, D. E. and S. Ruff 1999. The Smithsonian book of North American mammals. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, BC


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