Short-finned pilot whale Globicephala macrorhynchus Gray, 1846

Suborder: Odontoceti Family: Delphinidae

Short-finned Pilot whale Globicephala macrorhynchus

Sightings in Madeira

All year but mainly from November to April

ID characteristics

Stocky but elongated, medium-sized, blackish body with white anchor-shaped patch on chest
Rather long flippers (not as long as on Long-finned Pilot whales), sickled-shaped.
Rounded, bulbous forehead with no or tiny beak
Dorsal fin is falcate, sweeping backwards but set forward on body, though very variable with age and sex

Surface behaviour

Slow swimmer at surface, often motionless
Often lobtails and spy-hops

Short-finned Pilot whale Globicephala macrorhynchus


Worldwide between parallels 45º North and 40º South
Mid-latitude oceans with tropical and warm temperate seas


In groups from 10 to 30 individuals or more

Short-finned Pilot whale Globicephala macrorhynchus


Squid and fish


Max length: 7.2 m
Adult weight: 1 to 4 ton


Bushy shaped and low

IUCN Status: Data deficient
Madeira frequency status: Very Common

Short-finned Pilot whale Globicephala macrorhynchus

Other languages common names

GER - Kurzflossen-grindwal, Indische grindwal
FRA - Globicéphale tropical, Baleine pilote
ESP - Calderón tropical, Calderón de aleta corta
SWE - Kortfenad grindval, Indiska oceanens pilotval
DAN - Grindehval
ITA - Globicefalo di Gray
NED - Indische griend, Kortflippergriend
NOR - Kortfinnegrindval
POL - Grindwal krótkopłetwy, Pilot
POR - Baleia piloto de aleta curta, Baleia piloto de peitorais curtas, Boca de panela, Boto

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