The pilot or pilot whale (Globicephala melas) is a species of pilot whales, cetaceans of the family Delphinidae.
Pilot whales are profoundly social animals that live in groups. Adults measure 5 to 7 meters in length and weigh between 1900 kg for females to 4100 kg for males.
Classification: vertebrates, mammals, cetaceans, delphinids
Height: up to 7 m long with tail
Weight: up to 4 tons
Habitat and distribution: open ocean of tropical, temperate and cold waters around the world
Conservation status: not threatened
Pilot whale belongs to the dolphin family and are habituated to swim in front of ships, pretending to guide them. They are almost all black, have curved fins and a round head like a globe, which explains their name.
They live in groups of no more than 40 animals and feed mainly on fish and squid after dusk. Like other toothed cetaceans, pilot whales use sonar to find their targets. This system is useful in deep water, but groups of pilot whales sometimes get lost; that why they stand on the shore.
We do not know the exact reason for these mass strandings, which also affect other cetaceans.