Pilot Whale

The long-finned pilot whale, a member of the dolphin family, belongs to the toothed whales.

The dorsal fin is tall and located in the front half of their back. The fluke is small, but is usually visible when the whale starts to dive.

Commonly staying submerged for 5-10 minutes at a time, it is able to remain for longer diving periods and is known to have gone as deep as 600 m. The usual diving range in search of food, which is squid and various fish species, is around 30-60 m.

The population size in Icelandic waters is estimated to be around 35,000 individuals. The pilot whale often travels in large groups, or schools, although individuals can be seen travelling solitarily. Most frequently, they can be spotted off the South-East, South and West coasts of Iceland in late summer and fall.


Pilot whale as on Wikipedia


4-8 meters


2-5 tonn.

Worldwide population:

Unknown, at least few hundred thousand

Life expectancy:

 Ca. 40 years