Recently, 97 pilot whales were stranded in Western Australia, and unfortunately, 51 of them have already died.
Pilot whales refer to species of the genus Globicephala, which translates to ’round head.’
These marine mammals are characterized by their bulbous head and thick, curved dorsal fin.
There are two species of pilot whales:
Short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus), found in tropical and warm-temperate regions.
Long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas), mainly found in colder waters.
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Pilot whales inhabit open waters but are sometimes spotted near coastal areas.
They are typically nomadic in their movements.
These whales form social groups of between 20 and 100 individuals.
The social groups of pilot whales are matrilineal, meaning they are organized around the female members of the group.