Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A worldwide community photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

False Killer Whale

Pseudorca crassidens


Large black, and slender member of the Globiocephalidae family (Orca, False Orca and Pilot Whales). Adults grow 4-5m long and weigh in between 1-2 tonnes. Males generally larger than females. Have 44 round, sharpened peg-like teeth. Fins are swept back with flippers having the appearance of an 'elbow' and a relatively small 'sickle' shaped dorsal.


Found throughout most tropical and temperate seas. This one individual was seen just off Raoul Island in the Kermadec group. Often seen in large pods of 20 plus animals, it will sometimes form Mega Pods of many hundreds.


Not a well studied species, the best studies having been done with animals in Hawaii. Unfortunately showing a great decline in numbers there and now classed as endangered in the USA. World wide numbers have not been so well documented but reasonable to assume same patterns. Ref: Wikipedia and other sources.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


triggsturner 7 years ago

Thanks Mark, really appreciate your comment. Rob

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 7 years ago

Great shots. Congrats and thanks for sharing all your incredible stuff.

triggsturner 7 years ago

Thank you Venusflytrap2000. My pleasure to share this spotting with you all.

CalebSteindel 7 years ago

Congratulations! Terrific spotting!

triggsturner 7 years ago

Thank you Jill.

JillBlack 7 years ago

Congratulations on spotting of the week

triggsturner 7 years ago

Thank you so much Jim, Polilla and Michael for your comments. Yes Polilla, as far as I could see this animal was on its own which is apparantly unusual for this species. To be fair I just noticed this black shadow under the water and followed it with the lens. As luck would have it it breached in front of me. I had no idea what it was until it surfaced so wasn't really looking for any others. It was gone just as quickly.

Michael Strydom
Michael Strydom 7 years ago

Congrats !! :)

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 7 years ago

Well done, Triggs!

triggsturner 7 years ago

Thank you Sergio

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 7 years ago


triggsturner 7 years ago

Thank you Chris, Lauren, Neil and Mark. My pleasure to share with you. I had never seen one before either Neil but was unmistakable when it erupted from the water.

MacChristiansen 7 years ago

Congratulation Bob on your SOTW, great pics

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 7 years ago

Congrats, Triggs. A wonderful spotting. I've heard of these whales, but until now had never seen one. Thanks for the intro :)

LaurenZarate 7 years ago

Congratulations triggsturner! Wonderful spotting!

Chris Taklis
Chris Taklis 7 years ago

wonderful shot. congratulations for the SOTW.

triggsturner 7 years ago

Oh wow! Thank you Lisa and other PN Rangers for voting this SOTW. It was an incredible experience to see this wonderful creature in such an extraordinary place.

LisaPowers 7 years ago

Congratulations triggsturner! This amazing spotting has been selected as our PN Spotting of the Week! Thank you so much for sharing with us!

triggsturner 7 years ago

Thank you Ashley. Always an honour to be nominated.

AshleyT 7 years ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

Spotted by

New Zealand

Spotted on Apr 3, 2016
Submitted on Apr 7, 2016

Related Spottings

False killer whales bottlenose dolphin False Killer Whale

Nearby Spottings

Kermadec Nikau Palm Notch-head Marblefish New Zealand Bluefish Spotting
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team