Hagfish Day Star: Melon-headed Whale

Melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra)

Here’s a dolphin you might not know about. The social melon-headed whale hangs out in the deep tropical waters throughout the world. It’s common to find them in groups of 200 to 500 animals and sometimes in larger groups of more than 1,000 whales.

Their common name describes their lovely round melon. Unlike many dolphins, the melon-headed whale does not have a beak. Look closely and you’ll see that melon-headed whales have a dark mask and some have white lips. This smaller whale reaches lengths up to 9 feet long.

Melon-headed whales might be the life of the sea party. They are often seen hanging out with bottlenose dolphins, Fraser’s dolphins, rough-toothed dolphins, spinner dolphins, spotted dolphins, and short-finned pilot whales.

Melon-headed whales hunt at night in deeper water. They eat squid, fish, shrimp, and cuttlefish. These deep divers routinely dive 700 to 800 ft. The maximum recorded diving depth is 1,547 ft.

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