A Super Rare Group Of False Killer Whales Was Spotted For The First Time Since 1995 In The UAE

It's the first sighting in almost 24 years....wow

Screen Shot 2019 02 16 At 2 36 17 Pm

A stunning but very rare group of false killer whales was spotted for the first time in 24 years just off the coast of Fujairah.

Known as Pseudorca crassidens, they are a distant relative of killer whales, and were spotted just four or five kilometres off the Fujairah coastline last Saturday.

The first (and last) sighting of these dolphins in the area have been recorded in 1995.

Beautiful photographs of these mammals were taken by XR Hub Dive Centre, Ras Musandam Divers as well as an associate team member from the Fujairah Whale and Dolphin Research Project, and were shared on Instagram.

They are known to be one of the larger species of dolphins

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On the 9th February a small pod of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) was spotted off the Fujairah coastline, approximately 4-5km offshore by the XR Hub Dive Centre staff and their clients. The earliest known scientifically recorded sighting of this species in Fujairah dates back to 1995. Unlike their common name suggests, false killer whales actually belong to the dolphin family and can reach a length of 6m. These large oceanic dolphins are more closely related to Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus), pygmy killer whales (Feresa attenuata) and pilot whales (Globicephala sp.) than they are to killer whales (Orcinus orca), all of which also belong in the dolphin family. These are likely to be some of the same animals recorded only a day earlier just north east off Ras Ad-Dalaj in Musandam, Oman by staff and clients of Ras Musandam Divers. Thanks to our citizen scientists we can add another species to the list of cetaceans that are observed in Fujairah waters. Photo credit: Dr Csaba Géczy. Video credit in comment below: Majed Hamra في 9 فبراير شوهدت مجموعة صغيرة من الحيتان القاتلة الزائفة قبالة سواحل الفجيرة ، على بعد 4-5 كم تقريبًا من الشاطئ من قبل موظفي مركز هب دايف وزبائنهم. ۔ يعود أقدم رؤية معروفة علمياً لهذا النوع في الفجيرة إلى عام 1995.على عكس الاسم الشائع ، فإن الحيتان القاتلة المزيفة تنتمي في الواقع إلى عائلة الدلفين ويمكن أن يصل طولها إلى 6 أمتار. هذه الدلافين المحيطية الكبيرة ترتبط ارتباطًا وثيقًا بدلافين ريزو والحيتان القاتلة القزمة والحيتان التجريبية من الحيتان القاتلة و وكلها تنتمي أيضًا إلى عائلة الدلفين۔ ومن المرجح أن تكون هذه الحيوانات من نفس الحيوانات المسجلة قبل يوم واحد فقط من شمال شرق رأس الدلاج في مسندم بسلطنة عمان من قبل موظفي وعملاء راس مسندم دايفرز. بفضل علماءنا المواطنين ، يمكننا إضافة نوع آخر إلى قائمة الحيتانيات التي تتم ملاحظتها في مياه الفجيرة #5oes #fujairahwhaleproject #fujairah #cetaceanresearch #marinemammalresearch #uae #emirates #research

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Robert Baldwin, a marine scientist and managing director of environmental consultancy Five Oceans Environmental Services said:

“The sighting has raised the interests of scientists, who now believe the species is probably a more regular visitor than records suggest.

“They travel through the region, as do their close relative, the killer whale, which can also be seen near Fujairah.

“The rich waters of the UAE provide good hunting grounds for these remarkable, rarely seen marine mammals.”

It's definitely thrilling to know that such stunning creatures lurk in the UAE waters

Written By

Nikita Mukherjee

Being fairly new to Dubai, Nikita is still trying to find that perfect crème brulee. She loves buying cakes for no reason and then complaining about gaining weight in the same breath. She is obsessed with books, memes, pant suits and desserts—in no particular order. When not writing, she’s busy sleuthing unsolved cases on the internet.