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Pilot Whales

Pilot Whales

Like the Orca whales, the Pilot whale in not a whale at all but belongs to the dolphin family. They are the second largest after the Orca. Males are much larger than females. Adult males measure up to 20 feet (6.1 m) and weigh up to 3 tons. Adult females measure up to 16 feet (4.9 m) and weigh up to 1.5 tons.

The long-finned pilot whale usually travels in large schools containing hundreds of cetaceans. Within the schools are smaller matriarchal pods of 10-20 pilot whales. These sophisticated marine mammals form extremely united social connections, and members of individual pods often stick close together and protect the matriarch of the group. Although not scientifically proven, scientists believe that the pod always follows a single leader, thus the reason for the name, Pilot Whale.

Pilot whales prefer to eat squid but will also consume various small fish, herring and octopus. They eat only about 70 pounds of food daily, a minimal amount in comparison to other whales their size.

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