False killer whale

False killer whale – Pseudorca crassidens – Ψευδόρκα

Other common names:
FR – fausse-orque
ES – falsa orca
IT – pseudorca
DE – kleiner Schwertwal

The false killer whale is probably an occasional visitor entering the Mediterranean Sea from the Strait of Gibraltar. However, the number of recently documented occurrences of this species (especially in the eastern Mediterranean) indicates that the presence of a resident small population in the Mediterranean cannot be totally ruled out. Adult
males can reach up to 6m of body length and females 5 m. The colour is largely black or dark grey, with a white blaze on the ventral side between the pectoral (side) fins, which are relatively long and have a distinctive hump on the leading edge. The head is rounded, without a beak, the body shape elongate, the dorsal fin falcate and positioned in the middle of the back and can measure up to 40 cm high. In males, the melon (forehead) protrudes farther forward than in females and can overhang the lower jaw.

IUCN Red List classification: Listed as Data Deficient globally (IUCN 2008).