Arnoux's Beaked Whale
Berardius arnuxii

Other Names: Southern Four-toothed Whale, Southern Beaked Whale, New Zealand Beaked Whale, Southern Giant Bottlenose Whale, Southern Porpoise Whale

Habitat: Offshore

Status: Unknown

Population: Unknown

Threats: Unknown

Group Size: 6-10, several subgroups may join together

Fin Position: Far behind center

Newborns: c.14 ft (4.5 m), Unknown weight

Adults: 25 -31 ft (7.8-9.7 m), 7-10 tons

Diet: Squid or octopus and fish

Teeth: 0 on top row, 4 on bottom row


Dorsal fin:

- triangular or falcate dorsal fin
- rounded tip
- dorsal fin very small in relation to body size


- flukes sometimes raised before a deep dive
- slightly concave or almost straight trailing edges
- some individuals may have slight notch in middle
- broad flukes


- short, broad flippers
- almost parallel trailing and leading edges


- front teeth visible when mouth closed
- bulbous melon
- rounded edge of crescent-shaped blowhole faces forward

Head (old animal):

- front teeth worn down to gum level
- lighter or dirty white coloring from head to dorsal
- extensive scarring


- gap of up to 8 in (20 cm) between front and back teeth
- jaw contains second, concealed pair of teeth which erupt late in life

Other characteristics:

- heavy white scarring, especially on upper side (juveniles less scarred)
- broad, flat back
- robust, spindle-shaped body
- pale gray or white cloudy patches on underside


- little is known, but behavior probably is similar to Baird's Beaked Whale
- normally elusive
- cruises slowly at the surface, blowing 15 times or more before diving
- blow is low, bushy, and diffuse
- small groups stay close together, surfacing and blowing in unison
- usual dive time 15 to 25 minutes, but can dive for an hour or more
- beak may appear first when surfacing
- teeth may flash in sunlight


- deep offshore waters in the southern hemisphere, south of 34 S
- has been recorded as far south as 64 S on the Antarctic Peninsula
- most reported strandings have been around New Zealand and it seems to be relatively abundant in Cook Strait, especially during spring and summer
- most sightings are from the Tasman Sea and near Albatross Cordillera in the South Pacific
- known from South Georgia, in the South Atlantic Ocean, and South Africa
- tends to occur near deep escarpments, seamounts, and other areas with steep-bottomed slopes
- known to enter pack ice and may live very close to the ice edge in summer, but likely to move away during winter

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This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet