Meet These Mammals: Melon-headed Whale

This month we’re continuing our feature on the spectacular marine mammals that traverse our waters with one you may not be familiar with—the Melon-headed Whale. A member of the oceanic dolphin family, this whale is rarely seen by man, and often confused with pygmy killer whales.

While very rare, the melon-headed whale lives its life in warm, tropical waters such as those surrounding the Hawaiian Islands. Since they prefer to reside in deep water conditions, the melon-headed whale can go unspotted for years. Interestingly, though, the “Hawaiian melon-headed whale” is also known for passing the daytime by resting at the water’s surface.

These social animals live in large pods of anywhere from 100 to over 1,000 fellow melon-headed whales, and can be seen associating with other breeds as well. These mammals are very fast swimmers, and will sometimes break the water’s surface, creating large ripples around them.

To learn more about the creatures of the sea, ask one of our certified Naturalists the next time you cruise aboard the Dolphin Star! Book your next cruise today by calling (808) 983-STAR (7827) or visit


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