Lesser Beaked Whale
Mesoplodon peruvianus


Other Names: Peruvian Beaked Whale, Pygmy Beaked Whale

Habitat: Unknown

Status: Unknown

Population: Unknown

Threats: Entanglement in fishing nets

Group Size: 2-3,

Fin Position: Far behind center

Newborns: c.5-5 ¼ ft (1.5-1.6 m), Unknown weight

Adults: c.11 ¼-12 ¼ ft (3.4-3.7 m) , Unknown weight

Diet: Fish and occasionally squid or octopus and krill of other crustaceans

Teeth: 0 on top row, 2 on bottom row


Description

Dorsal fin:

- small, triangular dorsal fin
- wide base
- leading edge may be slightly convex
- slightly concave or straight trailing ede

Flukes:

- no notch in middle
- slightly pointed tips

Flippers:

- dark area extends down to flippers

Head:

- relatively short beak
- dark-tipped beak
- no teeth visible at sea
- narrow head
- indentation at blowhole

Jawbone:

- tiny teeth on arch of lower jaw

Other characteristics:

- very little body scarring
- uniformly dark gray upper side, fading to paler gray underside
- broad, flat tail stock
- whole body dark behind navel
- spindle-shaped body
- undersides lighter than upper side and sides


Behavior

- field identification is likely to be very difficult
- strandings have been of lone animals, but almost all possibly sightings are of pairs
- confusion is most likely with Hector's Beaked Whale, which also occurs in pairs; nothing is known about behavioral differences
- individuals observed in 5 possible sightings in 1986 and 1988 were readily approachable
- blow inconspicuous
- appears to feed in mid to deep waters


Distribution

- mid to deep water in the eastern tropical Pacific, primarily off the coast of Peru
- most strandings and incidental captures between about 11º S and 15º S along the coasts of Ica and Lima, southern and central Peru
- two strandings (January and April 1990) in Bahía de la Paz, Baja California, Mexico, are the first outside Peruvian waters
- there are no confirmed records between Peru and Baja California
- southern Peru is probably close to southern limit of its range



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This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet