Ginkgo-toothed Beaked Whale
Mesoplodon ginkgodens

Other Names: Japanese Beaked Whale, Ginkgo Beaked Whale

Habitat: Offshore

Status: Rare

Population: Unknown

Threats: Unknown

Group Size: Unknown

Fin Position: Far behind center

Newborns: 7 ft (2.1 m), Unknown weight

Adults: 15 -17 ft (4.7-5.2 m), c.1.5-2 tons

Diet: Squid or octopus and fish

Teeth: 0 on top row and 2 on bottom row


Dorsal fin:

- small, pointed dorsal fin
- dorsal fin may have hooked tip
- falcate trailing edge


- flukes fairly triangular in shape
- no notch in flukes
- broad flukes


- small, narrow flippers


- arched lower jaw
- prominent beak
- narrow upper jaw with sharp point
- smoothly sloping forehead with slight bulge in front of blowhole

Male Jawbone:

- very wide teeth erupt in males only
- tooth is shaped like the leaf of a Ginkgo Tree; notched, fan-shaped

Other characteristics:

- dark body color
- robust body
- little or no body scarring
- white spots and blotches around navel
- underside may be pale gray


- nothing known about behavior, but likely to be unobtrusive
- probably occurs in small groups
- lack of scarring suggest little to no aggression between males; at least, the teeth are not involved in fights
- confusion is most likely with other beaked whales, such as Blainville's and Andrews', though Blainville's has a flat head and Andrews' beak may have a white tip
- may also be confused with Hubbs', Stejneger's, and Cuvier's Beaked Whales, but Hubbs' has a white "cap" in front of the blowhole, in the head and the neck region, and Cuvier's larger with a shorter beak and teeth at the tip of the jaw


- warm temperate and tropical waters in the Pacific and Indian Oceans
- known only from a very small number of widely distributed strandings
- primarily recorded in the North Pacific and may be most common in the western North Pacific, especially off the coasts of Japan
- seems to prefer warm temperate to tropical regions, and normal habitat is assumed to be in deep water
- appears to be uncommon; however, it may simply live away from major shipping lanes and outside well-studied areas, and may live so far from land that few specimens survive long enough after death to be washed ashore

TMMSN Galveston

TMMSN Corpus Christi

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This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet