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Whales visiting. Photo: André Marton Pedersen

Curious whales paying a visit

2 months ago
Written by André Marton Pedersen, Ronald Toppe
Life on board > Curious whales paying a visit

Curious whales paying a visit

2 months agoLife on board
Written by André Marton Pedersen, Ronald Toppe
Whales visiting. Photo: André Marton Pedersen

Pilot whales are know to be both curious and playful. Friday a small pod swam up to Statsraad Lehmkuhl.

During morning coffee on Friday, Statsraad Lehmkuhl had a very welcome visit.

A small pod of pilot whales eager to take a look swam around long enough for content producer André Marton Pedersen to get his drone in the air. You can see the photos he took below.

Adult pilot whales are six to seven meters long, and the largest males weigh over 3,000 kilograms. Males can live to be 45 years old, while females live for around 60 years.

Curious! Photo: NOAA
Curious! Photo: NOAA

These whales are very social, and live in herds of up to 30 animals. They are often related to each other, and the herds are usually led by an old female.

The pilot whales feed mostly on squid, and can dive down to 1,000 meters and stay under water for as long as 20 minutes.

A most welcome visit. Photo: André Marton Pedersen
A most welcome visit. Photo: André Marton Pedersen

Pilot whales live in all of the oceans, but they are divided into two species. Those who visited Statsraad Lehmkuhl are short-finned pilot whales. Long-finned pilot whales live in the oceans north and south on the globe.

The name refers to the length of the pectoral fins.

Short finned pilot whale, above, long finned pilot whale, below. Illustration: Chris Huh / Wikimedia
Short finned pilot whale, above, long finned pilot whale, below. Illustration: Chris Huh / Wikimedia

Neither short-finned nor long-finned pilot whales are endangered species, but global warming is pushing populations of short-finned pilot whales further north and south in the ocean.

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The One Ocean Expedition is a circumnavigation by the Norwegian tall ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl. We aim to to share knowledge about the crucial role of the ocean for a sustainable development in a global perspective.

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