False Killer Whale – Pseudorca crassidens

False Killer Whale species Canary Islands Pseudorca crassidens Tenerife Gran Canaria Fuerteventura Lanzarote La Palma Gomera El Hierro Canaries Dolphins Atlantic Ocean Whale watching
False Killer Whale – Pseudorca crassidens

The False Killer Whale belongs to the family of dolphins (Delphinidae) and is therefore part of the infraorder of whales (Cetaceans). Pseudorca crassidens was first described by Owen in 1846. In contrast to the Orca it is only little explored.

Description, Anatomy & Characteristics

The False Killer Whale has a uniform dark-grey colouring. Only the belly is coloured somewhat brighter.

There is no protruding snout. Instead its head is very roundish.

Pseudorca crassidens grows up to 6m in length, reaching a weight of 1.4t.

Habitat, Distribution & Occurrence

According to Wikipedia, the False Killer Whale is a open-sea species. However, on the map its range is almost always shown near the coast. So it seems to prefer to stay above deep waters and still stay close to the mainland or islands.

False Killer Whale Pseudorca crassidens Map distribution area
Map with distribution area.

When scuba diving on the Canary Islands it is almost impossible to observe it. Also with Whale Watching tours one needs good luck, as sightings around Europe and Africa are rather the exception.

Most sightings occur in the North American Atlantic coast, the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

Biology & Feeding

The False Killer Whale is a social animal that lives in schools of 10 to 50 animals. It also happens that schools with more than 100 animals are observed. In 1946 a group of 846 animals stranded off Argentina. In addition, they sometimes form hunting communities with the Bottlenose Dolphin.

Accordingly, Pseudorca crassidens feeds on various fish and cephalopods. In some regions it has also been observed that they attack young dolphins.

It  has a variety of sounds for communication, orientation and catching prey.

Sources & Links




Related Posts