The false killer whale's apparently playful nature and fast, acrobatic swimming mean that individuals are frequently encountered skilfully surfing the bow waves of sea vessels, porpoising or leaping clear of the water surface (6) (7). This rapid locomotion also makes the false killer whale a highly-efficient predator, and it feeds on an array of different prey items, which, depending on its location, may include: salmon, squid, tuna and mahi mahi (5). Groups of false killer whales have also been observed feeding on smaller dolphins and even attacking humpback and sperm whales (4) (5). A highly social species, the false killer whale usually forms groups, or pods, of between 10 and 50 individuals of mixed sex and age, but these may occasionally merge into superpods of over 800 animals (6). Pods appear to communicate extensively by producing an incredibly diverse array of clicks and whistles (2). Sound is also employed by the animals in the form of echolocation, which is used to sense their environment and locate prey (4). Breeding is believed to occur throughout the year, but may peak at different times depending on the location (2). After a gestation period of about 15.5 months, the calves are born measuring up to two metres in length and for the first 18 to 24 months are fed on milk (2). The females reach sexual maturity at 8 to 11 years and are estimated live for up to 62 years (4), while the males may only reach maturity at 16 to 18 years (2) and live for around 57 years (4).
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