False Killer Whale

  • Contrary to what its name implies, the false killer whale is not directly related to the killer whale. However, as with the killer whale, it is also not a whale but a large member of the dolphin family.
  • The false killer whale has a long, slender, uniformly black or dark grey body. Some individuals have a slightly paler head and sides, and sometimes a pale ‘W’ shape on the chest.
  • The false killer whale is the only member of the blackfish group that bow-rides regularly, though other species are known to do so in certain areas. It is a fast moving energetic animal, not shy of boats. It is active and playful, often surfacing with its mouth open revealing its teeth. They are highly social and form strong bonds and are known to breach, lobtail, and porpoise while swimming energetically in pods of 10-60 individuals.
  • Found in tropical to warm temperate waters of the three oceans, the diet of this species consists primarily of fish and cephalopods.
  • The populations seem to be sparse and it is usually found only in deeper seas, which may help to explain why it has been little studied. This lack of information is reflected in its current designation by the IUCN as Data Deficient.


Watch on whimsical-tail-flukes.tumblr.com

If I have to post this a thousand times, I will. 

SeaWorld is the reason the Taiji slaughters still exist today. 

This video explains it very clearly. 

Ignoring what you see in this video shows you care more about your few hours of fun at SeaWorld than you care about the animals themselves. 



James A. Foley / NWN

False killer whales, as their name suggests, share a lot of similarities with true orcas, but the creatures remain one of the most understudied cetaceans. Now, new research on the mysterious mammals suggests that a group of them off the coast of New Zealand has formed a relationship with a group of bottlenose dolphins to keep predators at bay.

A research team from Massey University in New Zealand spent the past 17 years studying a group of 61 individual false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) in a region of ocean off the nation’s coast.

This group of false killer whales were also shown to associate with bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates) in a coordinated anti-predatory effort that in some cases lasted more than five years and at ranges of up to 650 kilometers.

"The anti-predatory function of mixed species associations is mostly achieved through a greater chance of detecting a predator through more eyes watching out," said Jochen Zaeschmar, from Massey University. "However, it is hard to say if this is mutualistic or parasitic, that is whether the two species actually co-operate or whether one just opportunistically exploits the detection ability of the other. Lastly, as both species are highly social, sociality may also play a role."

In rare cases, bottlenose dolphins and a false killer whale have bred, producing an offspring referred to as a “wholphin.”

Zaeschmar said more research on this close-knit population of false killer whales is warranted.

Rare Research Into False Killer Whales Reveals Anti-Predator Partnerships

 False killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) are one of the least studied species of ocean dolphin, but new light has been cast on their behavior by a team of marine scientists from New Zealand.

The 17-year study revealed that all 61 individuals in the area were linked in a single social network, while 88% of identified individuals were re-sighted in the same area over several years.

Groups of false killer whales were also found to associate with bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates). These partnerships were found to span more than 5 years and up to 650 km. (Read More.)

[Photo source.]

The arrival of a pod of false killer whales scuppered Clark’s plan to observe sperm whales in Dominica. Even though the false killers are only 5.5 to 4.5 metres long compared to the enormous sperm whale, they spooked the sperm whales, which disappeared. To make the most of the special permit he’d organized Clark concentrated on the false killers. 'They're normally very cautious,' he says, 'and seldom approach divers,' which is why close-up photos are rare. But these whales found something fascinating about Clark, stopping just a couple of metres away. This time it was Clark who was nervous. Then in the mélange, he saw the dolphin. Scientists have long known bottlenose dolphins sometimes associate with false killer whales, but this is almost certainly the first time the relationship has been photographed.

Incredible. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition never fails to amaze.

Remember that time last year I started a study on Pseudorca crassidens?? Well I finally finished the last part of it, the muscles.

If anything is wrong, let me know. I was literally working off of a 3 inch reference I found in a book, and it was confusing. 6_9 References for cetacean muscles are surprisingly almost impossible to find. At least for me they were.