Pilot whales

From: Phil Clapham (phillip.clapham@noaa.gov)
Date: Tue Jan 16 2001 - 09:35:33 EST


You can find a lot of information on pilot whales in the Whalenet
archive (most of which shows up if you do an Internet search on "pilot
whales"). The most interesting things about pilot whales are:

1) They mass-strand frequently, mostly because of a combination of
problems. Here on Cape Cod they strand in a couple of places very
frequently, and those places feature water that is quite deep at high
tide but very shallow at low tide (especially when the tides are
greatest at new or full moon). So pilot whales often get caught on
rapidly falling tides and find themselves in a maze of sand flats and
shallows. If the weather is bad (which it often is during strandings)
then this makes it even more likely that theyll strand on a beach, since
the wind and waves make it even more difficult for them to find their
way out.

2) Pilot whales are very social, and we know from genetic analysis that
each group consists of family members; it is likely that animals born
into a group stay with that group for their entire lives. This is very
similar to the social structure of killer whales, with a few

3) Pilot whales are found worldwide except for the North Pacific. There
are two species, called long-finned and short-finned. They are lots of
pilot whales in the world.

hope this helps.

Phil Clapham

VINH LE wrote:
> Hi my name is vinh I am in 3rd grade and at school I
> have to do a report on Pilot whales, and I need some
> infomation could you send me some info plese?My e-mail
> is vinhlepro@yahoo.com.
> __________________________________________________
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Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D. Large Whale Biology Program Northeast Fisheries Science Center 166 Water Street Woods Hole, MA 02543

tel (508) 495-2316 fax (508) 495-2258 Internet: phillip.clapham@noaa.gov

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