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