Long Finned Pilot Whale
marine life of Namibia
Introduction: The long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melaena) is a small whale with bulbous head. As with the killer whale, this is really a dolphin and not a whale. The dorsal fin is upper mid-body and it is similar in appearance to the short-finned pilot whale, but is distinguishable by a white streak behind the eye. It has long flippers which are up to 20% of the body length.
They are known to socialise with bottlenose dolphins and and Risso's dolphin. Schools of 15 to 25 are common and can reach, but rarely exceed 100. Long-finned pilot whales often get stranded on beaches, due to their strong family bonds. When a member gets stuck, the rest of the pod tend to follow.
Distribution: The entire length of the Namibia coastline with sightings in waters more 1,000m in depth.
Diet: Oceanic squid and fish.
Colouring: Jet black or dark grey body with grey or white markings on the belly and throat.
Breeding: Gestation period is normally 15 to 16 months, every 2 to 3 years and calves are 1.7m at birth.
Size: Males reach 4.5m at the age of 14 years.
Situated on a prime sea front location - close to everything the town of Luderitz has to offer.