Pygmy Killer Whale
Feresa attenuata

Other Names: Slender Blackfish, Slender Pilot Whale

Habitat: Offshore

Status: Unknown

Population: Unknown

Threats: Entanglement in fishing nets

Group Size: 15-25, several hundred may be seen together (rare)

Fin Position: Center

Newborns: c.32 in (80 cm), Unknown weight

Adults: 7-8 ft (2.1-2.6 m), c.240-375 lb. (110-170 kg)

Diet: Squid or octopus, fish, and occasionally mammals

Teeth: 16-24 on top row, 20-26 on bottom row


Dorsal fin:

- tall dorsal fin
- slightly pointed tip (variable)
- concave trailing edge may be wavy


- pointed tips
- slight notch in middle


- long flippers
- rounded tips
- convex leading edges

Other characteristics:

- very rounded head
- body may be scarred
- dark gray or brownish gray cape on upper side
- rear half of body less robust than front hall
- blue-black, dark gray, or brownish gray body
- large white patch on belly, split into 2 halves by deep groove
- sides paler than upper side
- pale gray W shape on chest
- white "lips"
- no beak
- some individuals have a white chin


- may be difficult to approach and is known to avoid boats, though there are reports of bow-riding and wake-riding
- sometimes seen logging, especially on sunny days
- spyhopping, lobtailing, and breaching have all been noted, but it is not usually acrobatic
- a lively swimmer: the head usually comes right out of the water when surfacing, and the animal leaps clear of the water when fleeing danger
- pods often swim abreast in perfectly coordinated "chorus lines" and, when alarmed, bunch together to rush away
- growling sounds may be heard above the surface
- often strands


- tropical and subtropical offshore waters around the world
- distribution is poorly known from sparse but widely distributed records worldwide
- occurs in deep, warm waters, rarely close to shore (except near oceanic islands)
- mainly tropical, but occasionally strays into warm temperate regions
- seen relatively frequently in the eastern tropical Pacific, Hawaii, and Japan, though not particularly abundant anywhere; however, tends to avoid boats, so may be more common than records suggest
- no migrations are known; thought to occur year-round in well-studied areas such as Sri Lanka, in the Indian Ocean, and St. Vincent, in the Caribbean

TMMSN Galveston

TMMSN Corpus Christi

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This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet