To see photographs of the False Killer Whale (Pseudorca
crassidens) click here.
False Killer Whale (Pseudorca crassidens)
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© 2014 Kelvin Aitken.
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Taxonomic name: Pseudorca crassidens
Other Common Names: Blackfish, False Orca.
False Killer Whales (Pseudorca crassidens) are one of a number of species
of ocean dwelling marine mammals also known as Blackfish.
The distribution of the False Killer Whale is tropical to warm temperate
waters in both hemispheres.
False Killer Whales are dark gray to black with a light blaze on the
sides of the head and on the belly between the flippers. Their most distinctive
and diagnostic feature is the shape of the pectoral fin with a bow-like
front edge curving back to a pointed tip. The head is long and tapers
to a small rounded snout that overshadows the lower jaw. The dorsal fin
is small and hooked. The body long and slender.
False Killer Whales are more demonstrative at the surface than other
"Blackfish" species, leaping and racing in response to the presence
of moving boats. When jumping they appear to be pitch black but underwater
the subtle markings are evident. They hunt and socialize in small groups
but may form pods of 100-200. False Killer Whales are very social, hunting
and sharing their food amongst the pod. They feed on squid, small fish
and pelagic fish such as Yellowfin Tuna and Mahi Mahi.
To see an example of group feeding enter the Image Database and enter
the number 44638 in the Keyword Search field or use the Category Tree
to navigate to False Killer Whale (Pseudorca crassidens) via Mammals-Whales-Toothed
Whales. The image shows a group of male and female adult False Killer
Whales feeding on a Yellowfin Tuna with a newborn calf, with birth folds
evident on its flanks, joining in. During the feeding session one adult
would hold the fish while others tore off strips of flesh. The sound of
their feeding was like tearing apart strips of velcro.
Calves are born at 1.5 m and grow to 4.7 m if female and 6.1 m if male.