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Pygmy killer whale facts for kids

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Pygmy killer whale
Size compared to an average human
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetacea
Family: Delphinidae
Genus: Feresa
Species: F. attenuata
Binomial name
Feresa attenuata
(Gray, 1875)
  Native range   

The Pygmy Killer Whale (Feresa attenuata) is a mammal of the oceanic dolphin family. It is small, and rarely seen. Its name is because it shares some features with the Killer Whale. They are not closely related.


The pygmy killer is an average-sized dolphin. It may easily be confused at sea with other species, in particular the melon-headed whale. The body is large and dark-colored. The head is rounded without a beak. The sides are lighter and the belly is often white. Several individuals have been seen with a white lining around the mouth and chin. The dorsal fin is tall.

The pygmy avoids human contact. These dolphins always move in groups. The groups are usually of 10 to 30, but sometimes much larger.

They have been seen attacking, killing and eating other cetacean species such as the Common Dolphin.

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