Talk:Pilot whale

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Good article Pilot whale has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
June 23, 2011 Good article nominee Listed
WikiProject Cetaceans (Rated GA-class, High-importance)
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Beaching due to military vessels?[edit]

There was a study done showing temporal and spatial correlations between military vessels using some kind of heavy-duty sonar equipment (I'm not an expert) and whale beachings. This should be mentioned here. I don't have a link just now, but Google may help. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 08:31, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Should there be mention anywhere of Tag, Notch and Baby, three pilot whale calves that were fairly famous in the 80's for having been beached, then saved by the New England Aquarium?

Dozens of long finned pilot whales were beached in Tasmania fairly recently too, after a minesweeper went by looking for a shipwreck. [1]Pengo 02:35, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Twenty-one short finned pilot whales were beached at Avalon Park in St. Lucie County, Florida on the Atlantic Ocean on September 1, 2012 (Buzzexpress (talk) 21:54, 1 September 2012 (UTC), personal observation).

Self consistency issues[edit]

There is information on this very page that this whale is hunted in the Faroes, and yet the map indicates that there are none of this species in water even as far north as the south of England? Something doesn't make sense...

In the last paragraph of the description there is a reference to the relative sizes of the two types of pilot whale but the data then given indicates the opposite. I don't know enough about Pilot Whales to make the correction and have no access to the references. For reference the paragraph currently reads as follow (my highlighting): The size and weight depend on the species as long-finned pilot whales are generally larger than short-finned pilot whales.[9][8] Their life span is about 45 years in males and 60 years in females for both species. Both species exhibit sexual dimorphism. Adult long-finned pilot whales reach a body length of approximately 6.5 m, with males being 1 m longer than females.[10] Their body mass reaches up to 1,300 kg in females and up to 2,300 kg in males.[11] For short-finned pilot whales, adult females reach a body length of approximately 5.5 m, while males reach 7.2 m and may weigh up to 3,200 kg.[11] - River

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Pilot whale/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Frickeg (talk) 08:00, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)

Generally a good and comprehensive article, but a few issues.

  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    Elaborated on below.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    The issue with status; see below.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    Again, the lack of information about conservation status is a significant omission.
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
    This isn't a GA issue (or an FA one, for that matter), just some advice - when I first looked at the history, I got a bit of a shock to see all the anonymous edits there. After a bit of a look I realised that you're editing while logged out a lot of the time. I strongly advise you to try not to do this - not only does it compromise your privacy, it also makes it harder for other editors to get in touch with you regarding edits, and people don't see a trusted name on their watchlists.
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    Some great images here, and the sound recording is an extra bonus.
  7. Overall:

I've done a basic copyedit as I go through - please let me know if you disagree with any of them. More specific issues:

  • In the infobox: do we have a name authority for the genus? This isn't strictly required by GA criteria but should be fairly easy to find.
  • ... which would also be found in "resident" killer whale pods. What does this mean? Is resident here indicating non-nomadic? It's a bit unclear.
Changed to "certain killer whale communities". LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
  • ... menopause, a trait shared only with humans and killer whales ... This sounds fascinating, but the linked page there tells me that it's also shared by various primates, other mammals, fish, birds, etc. What it does say is that only short-finned pilot whales have exhibited it in the wild. What do your sources say on this?
Decided to just delete that part. LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Pilot whales remain abundant and widespread ... Yet they're both listed as Data Deficient. Why? See also the note in the relevant selection below.
  • The consumption of pilot whale meat is condoned by these cultures, even if the majority of their populations do not actively partake in the consumption of whale meat products. This sounds awfully like political spin to me (although I'm sure it wasn't intended as such). How is this more than vague implications and original research?
  • A number of species classifications have been proposed for the Globicephala but only two species are recognized.[1] It has been proposed that long-finned pilot whales from the South Atlantic be classified as a subspecies.[2] However this classification has been disputed.[3] There exist geographic forms of short-finned pilot whales in the northwest Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan.[4] Both forms are segregated geographically and thermally and are genetically isolated stocks.[5] This whole secton has some problems and is a little confusing in places. First, syntactically the two sentences separated with "however" need to be merged. Second, who has proposed that, and why (and how) has it been disputed? These only need to be brief but the statements are vague as is. In the same paragraph variations of the short-finned pilot whales are mentioned, which implies that they might be species too. Are they? Otherwise perhaps a new paragraph for this (which should be OK once there's a little more on the long-finned situation).
I don't see the need to list the people proposings these, that what the citations are for. You're asking to much with the rest as I do not hhave access to the full articles. LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I know the citations are there, but things like "it has been proposed", "has been disputed", etc. are specifically listed under words to watch, which is one of the GA criteria. The way you've reworded it is fine, though, and also means the other issues here are less of a problem. If you're wanting to get this up to FA and you need someone with access to university databases, I'll be happy to see if I can get a hold of some of these articles for you. Frickeg (talk) 02:37, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Just to clarify (for my own curiosity), was Globicephala the generic name assigned by Gray? If so, that's good taxonomy right there!
Actually, looking at the sources here, I'm seeing that the short-finned pilot whale was described earlier than the long-finned species, in 1809, and the genus Globicephala was described in 1828. I can't find from a quick search which genus melas was placed in originally. Any of your sources say anything on this? It's probably worth incorporating the short-finned species' discovery and description into that section. Frickeg (talk) 02:37, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
  • The Greek and Latin translations could use a citation. (Also, the lead mentioned that the term "blackfish" also applies to some other cetaceans. The third paragraph under "Taxonomy and naming" would be a great place to mention this.
  • Other light areas more or less apparent ... What does this mean? That they can be vaguely discerned, or that only some individuals or varieties exhibit them? Either way this needs rewording.
Reworded. LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
  • What's an orbital blaze? Or, for that matter, a mid-ventral blaze? Is it related to the horse marking? A wikilink somewhere here would be great, if there is one.
Reworded LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
  • The dorsal fin is set forward on the back and sweeps back. Two "backs" in one sentence ... any way this could be reworded?
Reworded LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
  • ... the tail stock is laterally compressed and quite deep dorso-ventrally. This is pretty heavy jargon. The average reader is not going to know what "dorso-ventrally" means, and will probably have some problems with "laterally compressed" as well. Can we de-jargonise it, or at least have some links in there?
Reworded and linked. LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
  • ... adult females reach a body length of approximately 5.5 m and males reach 7.2 m and may reach 3,200 kg. This is unclear. Does the 3,200 kg refer to females and males, or just males?
Seems to give it for just males. LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
  • They prefer continental shelf breaks, slop waters and areas of high topographic relief. Is "slop" a typo for "slow"? (I wasn't quite sure on this one.)
Linked. LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
  • The heading "Foraging and parasitism" poses a few problems. First, the implication here is that the pilot whales are the parasites (which had me very interested for a few seconds!). Secondly, why are these two things together? Wouldn't the info on parasites be better somewhere else (preferably where it wouldn't require its own heading)?
Don't know where else to put it. LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
How about under "Life history"? It just seems a little arbitrary grouped with "Foraging". Frickeg (talk) 02:37, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
  • It has been hypothesized that if pilot whales have a higher metabolic rate ... Who hypothesized this?
Citations are given. LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Again, try to work an attribution into the actual text. Frickeg (talk) 02:37, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Solely as a point of curiosity, does "fishery-killed long-filled pilot whales" mean those accidentally killed in netting, etc?
  • Various kin-directed behaviors have been observed such as food provisioning. What's food provisioning?
Reworded LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Just as a point of interest (not affecting the GA review at all), you may want to consider formatting your citations; it makes things a lot easier and also tends to clog the text a bit less.
  • Just as a grammatical thing I've noticed: "however" isn't a valid joining word like "but" and "although", and needs a semicolon rather than a comma preceding it if it doesn't come at the start of a sentence. It generally needs a comma after it either way. I've fixed these in the article; in a few instances I've joined the sentences with "although" or "but", as it's often an opportunity to improve the flow of the prose.
  • It has been suggested that older, post-reproductive females ... Suggested by whom?
Citations are given. LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
  • ... supporting the theory that females may invest more in present offspring as their likelihood to bear more offspring diminishes. This doesn't make much sense. Invest more what? The whole wording is awkward and a little confusing. Could it be reworded?
Reworded LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Having the recording of the vocalisations is outstanding - that one thing adds so much to the article!
  • Mean call output and duration seems to decrease with depth despite the increased distance to conspecifics at the surface. A lot of jargon in this sentence; I've read it a few times and still can't make sense of it. (Specifically: what are "conspecifics"?)
It means that they call less and not as long when they dive deeper even though they are far away from other whales at the surface. You would suspect that it would be the opposite as they are so far from them. LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
  • This is outside the realm of the GA review, since the section covers the main points, but one area where I could see room for expansion is the "stranding" section. A lot of casual readers are going to come across the article in relation to this issue and it's mentioned as significant in the lead.
  • The survival prospects of both species appear positive, although the IUCN lists both as "Data Deficient" in the Red List of Threatened Species. The only egregious example of original research I've found. Who says they appear positive? What does the IUCN say? You're about to detail a whole heap of threats to the genus, so saying propects "appear positive" without elaboration is deeply confusing. Actually, I think this is the article's only noticeable lack as far as breadth of coverage goes: a section dealing with the global status and why the IUCN lists them as Data Deficient.
Removed. I don't recall put that. LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
The new section is better and adequate for GA, although if you're looking to take the article to FA this would be a great candidate for some further expansion. The IUCN usually has nice rationales on the Red List page that could give rise to some nice new material here. Frickeg (talk) 02:37, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Does Japan still hunt short-finned pilot whales? The "Cuisine" section implies that it is but there's no mention in the "Fisheries" section.
  • Killing by harpoon is still relatively common in the Lesser Antilles and Sri Lanka. Due to poor record-keeping it is not known how many kills are made each year, and what effect this has on the local population. This needs a citation.
Deleted. I don't recall putting that. LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
  • As with other marine mammals, pilot whales may contain pollutants in their system. The wording of this is a bit strange. "Contain pollutants" makes it sound like the pollutants are in there naturally or something.
  • When grilled, the meat is slightly flaky and quite flavorful, gamey, though similar to a quality cut of beef, with distinct yet subtle undertones recalling its marine origin. Is "gamey" a technical term? It sounds terribly colloquial, but I wouldn't necessarily know.
  • What does the survival rate in the section under "captivity" refer to? 0.51 per what? It's probably better to spell this out.
Source doesn't say. LittleJerry (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
OK, well this is something we'll need to find out. I'll have a look around myself as well. Frickeg (talk) 02:37, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Here is a source that lists a few different types of survival rate. Any idea which one the article is referring to?
I was wrong, the source does say. It's annual survival rate. LittleJerry (talk) 13:52, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
  • The references need standardising. Some have the author's name in capitals (2, for example), while others have the Christian name first (6, 26, 27, etc.). Some initialed names are separated by full stops and others aren't. These will all need fixing. An easy way to do this is to convert them to citation templates as mentioned above.
Fixed LittleJerry (talk) 18:54, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Frickeg (talk) 09:25, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

This is pretty much a pass now, but before I pass it officially I want to try and help finding out what the survival rate in captivity is all about. Then there's just that issue with the taxonomy (regarding the description of the genus and the short-finned pilot whale's discovery) - very minor issues. Frickeg (talk) 02:46, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

One and done LittleJerry (talk) 01:50, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
  • One final question: Small-type whaling vessels, equipped with harpoons, off Hokkaido and Sanriku took a mean annual catch of 91 (range= 0-781) of the northern form from 1948 to 1979.[7] Between 1948 and 1980, drive and harpoon fisheries took a mean annual catch of 302 (range= 0-781) of the southern form at Taiji, Izu and Okinawa. What do the ranges here refer to, and are they really the same for both of these statistics? It might be better to write them out in full ("ranging from 0 to 781") as well. Frickeg (talk) 02:58, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Dunno, the source doesn't get specific. LittleJerry (talk) 03:02, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

And passed. Well done with this article. Frickeg (talk) 01:59, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Do pilot whales hunt sperm whale calves?[edit]

In the Sperm Whale article, it mentions pilot whales along with orcas and false killer whales as predators of sperm whale calves. Does anyone know if this is accurate? If so, it would be a good addition to the article. -- (talk) 00:20, 30 April 2012 (UTC)