How to Identify Dolphins

Bottlenose Dolphin
Pilot Whale, Member of Dolphin Family

In light of the horrific slaughter of pilot whales in another post today, we share an excerpt about pilot whales from our article, How to Identify Dolphins:

“Pilot whales comprise two species of massive dolphins, short-finned (Globicephala macrorhynchus) and long-finned (Globicephala melas) . Male long-finned pilots can reach 25 feet and more than 5,000 pounds. Females are about 19 feet long and weigh about 3,000 pounds. Their stocky body is black or gray featuring white, diagonal stripes behind the eyes. The belly and chin are light gray. They have long flippers and a curved dorsal fin on their backs. Small beaks feature the classic upturned mouth of all dolphins. Gregarious pilots are often found in captivity and are used by the U.S. Navy to retrieve military equipment from the ocean depths.

Short-finned pilots are black or dark brown and smaller than the long-finned; males are 18 to 24 feet and females are about 12 feet. Adults weigh 2,200 to 6,600 pounds. Like the long-finned pilot, they have bulbous heads with nearly imperceptible beaks. The dorsal fin is set far forward on their body, and they have a large gray saddle behind the dorsal fin.”

Read the whole article…How to Identify Dolphins

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