Baird's Beaked Whale
Berardius bairdii


Other Names: Northern Giant Bottlenose Whale, North Pacific Bottlenose Whale, Giant Four-toothed Whale, Northern Four-toothed Whale, North Pacific Four-toothed Whale

Habitat: Offshore

Status: Locally common

Population: Unknown

Threats: Unknown

Group Size: 3-30, larger groups may split for short periods

Fin Position: Far behind center

Newborns: c.14 ft (4/5 m), Unknown weight

Adults: 35-42 ft (10.7-12.8 m), c.11-15 tons

Diet: Squid or octopus, krill or other crustaceans, and fish

Teeth: 0 on top row, 4 on bottom row


Description

Dorsal fin:

- small, low dorsal fin with slightly rounded tip
- straight or slightly concave trailing edge

Flukes:

- flukes sometimes raised above surface before deep dive
- almost straight trailing edges
- may be slight notch in middle
- relatively small flukes

Flippers:

- small, slightly rounded flippers
- flippers far forward on body

Head:

- lower jaw protrudes beyond upper jaw
- front teeth exposed when mouth closed
- bulging forehead broader and more bulbous in males
- indentation at blowhole

Head (jawbone):

- exposed front teeth often heavily infested with whale-lice and stalked barnacles
- second pair of teeth, concealed inside mouth, erupt late in life

Other characteristics:

- upper side may appear much lighter if heavily scarred, especially in males
- broad, flat back
- slate gray body may appear darker or brownish at sea
- elongated, spindle-shaped body
- long scratches, many in parallel pairs and mostly ob back, especially in males
- predominately dark underside
- variable whitish spots and blotches on underside


Behavior

- may be wary of boats where hunted, but blow is sometimes visible
- forehead and beak often break the surface when animal rises to breathe
- blowhole normally disappears before dorsal fin emerges
- whole pod stays in tight formation, surfacing and blowing in unison
- typically visible for less than 5 minutes
- deep dives usually last 25 to 35 minutes
- spyhopping, lobtailing, logging, and (rarely) breaching observed


Distribution

- deep temperate and subarctic waters in the north Pacific Ocean
- specific centers of abundance appear to be around the Aleutian Islands in the North Pacific; Sea of Okhotsk; California; Vancouver Island, Canada; Japan (especially Boso Peninsula, southwest Hokkaido, and Tobayama Bay); and along the Emperor Seamounts, northwest of Hawaii
- appear to be seasonal peaks of abundance in certain areas
- may occur inshore, but usually near or seaward of continental shelf, especially around submarine escarpments and seamounts
- forty to sixty are taken annually under a government quota system off Japanese waters



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This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet