(False killer whale  (Pseudorca crassidens




Meaning of species name is "thick-toothed". Circum-global in deep warm waters. Total world population estimated at 80,000.

At sea identification:

Adult length is 5-6 meters, uniform black color. It has a lithe hydrodynamic body with a long and slender beakless head, oval-shaped from above and conic from the side. Large prominent concave dorsal fin at mid-length. Short and narrow pectoral fins with an "elbow". Sociable, readily approaches boats to bow-ride (the only black whale to do so). Lives in water deeper than 1,000 meters, active and acrobatic. Travels in groups of 10-20.

Identifying marks on land: Unmistaken head shape. Eight to twelve very large conical teeth in each half jaw.

Feeds on large fish and squid and occasionally on small cetaceans. Inter-birth period may extend to 6 years, pregnancy may last up to 16 months and lactation up to 2 years. Rare in the Mediterranean (though common in the Red Sea). Single sighting of a large group in our region.

Additional facts:

Adult weight: 1.2 tons.

Newborn length is 1.9 meters and weight is 80 kg.

Sexual maturity: 8-14 years.

Life expectancy: 60 y.