Pilot Whale

Latin: Globicephala melas
English: Long-finned Pilot Whale
Norwegian: Grindhval

There are two species of pilot whales: the long-finned pilot whale and the short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus). Short-finned pilot whales range through offshore warm temperate and tropical seas, while long-finned pilot whales range from cold temperate to subpolar North Atlantic and Southern Ocean.

The long-finned pilot whale is a family animal, traveling in groups of 10 to 50, and sometimes up to 100 or more. There are reports of thousands seen together in great super pods.

Doc - 30 dec. 2012 13-19

Any sighting of a group black, medium-sized whales with rounded heads and very wide, thick, curved-back dorsal fins, is bound to be of pilot whales.


photo: Jenny van Twillert

Young long-finned pilot whales will sometime breach, but this is rarely observed in an adult.

Listen to the pilot whale

North Atlantic Society 2012