pilot whale

pilot whale
a small, common whale, Globicephala sieboldii, of tropical and temperate seas, having a bulbous head.

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Any of one to three species (genus Globicephala, family Delphinidae) of toothed whale found in all oceans except the Arctic and Antarctic, also called caa'ing whale for a roaring sound it makes when stranded.

It is black, usually with a lighter splash on the throat and chest, and has a round, bulging forehead, a short beaklike snout, and slender, pointed flippers, and grows to 13–20 ft (4–6 m) long. Pilot whales live in large schools, sometimes hundreds or thousands, feeding mainly on squid. They have been kept in oceanariums and trained to perform.

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also called  blackfish  or  pothead 
 either of two species of small, slender toothed whales (toothed whale) with a round, bulging forehead, a short beaklike snout, and slender, pointed flippers. Pilot whales are about 4–6 metres (13–20 feet) long and are found in all the oceans of the world except the Arctic. Males are larger than females, but both are black and some have a pale, elongated, anchor-shaped mark adorning the throat and chest.

      Highly gregarious, this cetacean lives in groups numbering from dozens to hundreds or even thousands of individuals and feeding mainly on squid. Pilot whales are one of the species that will mass strand, a phenomenon in which an entire school beaches itself. Scientists have been unable to agree on a cause for this behaviour.

      Pilot whales have been kept in oceanariums, where they are sometimes trained to perform, and the U.S. Navy has attempted to train pilot whales to attach devices to stray torpedoes. In some areas pilot whales are still hunted for meat and oil; in the Faroe Islands they are captured by first frightening the whales by making noise in the water, then driving them ashore to be killed.

      Pilot whales are members of the dolphin family, Delphinidae. The origin of the common name is unclear, but two species are generally recognized: the short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) and the long-finned pilot whale (G. melas). They are similar in appearance except for the pronounced difference in flipper length between the two species. Long-finned pilot whales are found in colder waters than the short-finned species. Geographically isolated populations are sometimes considered separate species.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Pilot whale — Pilot Pi lot, n. [F. pilote, prob. from D. peillood plummet, sounding lead; peilen, pegelen, to sound, measure (fr. D. & G. peil, pegel, a sort of measure, water mark) + lood lead, akin to E. lead. The pilot, then, is the lead man, i. e., he who… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pilot whale — pilot .whale n a small ↑whale with black skin …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • pilot whale — n. BLACKFISH (sense 1) …   English World dictionary

  • Pilot whale — Taxobox name = Pilot Whale image width = 250px regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia ordo = Cetacea familia = Delphinidae genus = Globicephala range range map width = 250px range map caption = Green: Long finned range; Blue:… …   Wikipedia

  • pilot whale — paprastoji grinda statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Globicephala melaena angl. Atlantic blackfish; blackfish; calling whale; common blackfish; common pilot whale; driving whale; howling whale; long… …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • pilot whale — noun small dark colored whale of the Atlantic coast of the United States; the largest male acts as pilot or leader for the school • Syn: ↑black whale, ↑common blackfish, ↑blackfish, ↑Globicephala melaena • Hypernyms: ↑dolphin • Member …   Useful english dictionary

  • pilot whale — noun Either of two species of whale in the genus Globicephala, dark grey in colour …   Wiktionary

  • pilot whale — noun a black toothed whale with a square bulbous head. [Genus Globicephala: two species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • pilot whale — pi′lot whale n. mam either of two large, black, bulbous headed species of dolphin of the genus Globicephala[/ex] • Etymology: 1865–70 …   From formal English to slang

  • pilot whale — noun Date: 1867 either of two chiefly black medium sized toothed whales (Globicephala melaena syn. G. melas and G. macrorhynchus) called also blackfish …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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