The most characteristic trait of long-finned pilot whales is their large, bulbous, melon-shaped head. Long-finned pilot whales are mostly black with a gray saddle patch behind their dorsal fin and an anchor-shaped mark on their ventral surface. Males can reach up to 8.5 meters, with the average length being 6 meters, and can weigh up to 3,800 kg. Females are smaller, reaching a maximum length of 6 meters, with the average length being 4.8 meters, and can weigh up to 1,800 kg. Initially, calves do not have the bulbous head. The melon grows as the calf matures.
Range mass: males: 3,800 females: 1,800 (high) kg.
Range length: males: 8.5 females: 6 (high) m.
Average length: males: 6 females: 4.8 m.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: male larger
- Bonner, N. 1989. Whales of the World. New York, New York: Library of Congress Cataloging.