Northern Bottlenose Whale
Hyperoodon ampullatus


Other Names: North Atlantic Bottlenosed Whale, Flathead, Bottlehead, Steephead

Habitat: Offshore

Status: Unknown

Population: Unknown

Threats: Human disturbance and pollution

Group Size: 4-10, several groups may be visible simultaneously

Fin Position: Far behind center

Newborns: 9 -11 ft (3-3.5 m), Unknown weight

Adults: 23-29 ft (7-9 m), 5.8-7.5 tons

Diet: Squid or octopus and occasionally fish and other invertebrates

Teeth: 0 on top row and 2-4 on bottom row


Description

Dorsal fin:

- pointed tip
- slightly falcate or triangular shape
- may be darker than rest of body

Flukes:

- may be lifted above surface before deep dive
- broad flukes with concave trailing edges
- no notch in flukes
- flukes uniform brown or gray

Flippers:

- small, pointed flippers

Head:

- lighter band of color around neck on some animals
- bulbous forehead may overhang beak
- forehead and beak normally lighter than rest of body
- male jawbone:
- teeth erupt at tip of lower jaw

Juvenile:

- more rounded beak than adult
- poorly defined forehead
- grayish white underside
- black to chocolate brown back and sides

Other characteristics:

- often gray patches on body
- body often scratched and scarred
- brown to dark gray tail stock, back, and sides, may lighten with age
- creamy brown or pale gray underside


Behavior

- whalers reported dives of 1 to 2 hours, but typical dive time without stress is 14 to 70 minutes
- may remain on surface for 10 minutes or more, blowing every 30 to 40 seconds
- bushy blow 39 in-6 ft (1-2 m) high, projects slightly forward and is visible in good conditions
- has been seen lobtailing and, very rarely, breaching
- probably a deep diver, but does not usually travel much horizontal distance while submerged


Distribution

- North Atlantic Ocean, normally in water deeper than 3,280 ft (1,000 m)
- appear to be certain pockets of abundance: around "they Gully," north of Sable Island, Nova Scotia, Canada; in the Arctic Ocean, between Iceland and Jan Mayen and southwest of Svalbard; and in Davis Strait, off northern Labrador, Canada, especially around the entrance to Hudson Strait and Frobisher Bay
- less common in extreme southern part of range
- in east of range probably moves north in spring and south in autumn; in the west, at least some animals believed to over-winter at higher latitudes
- may also be some inshore-offshore movements
- most common beyond the continental shelf and over submarine canyons in deep water
- sometimes travels several miles into broken ice fields, but more common in open water
- known to strand



TMMSN Galveston

TMMSN Corpus Christi

Return To Gulf of Mexico Species
Return To Cetaceans of the World

e-mail suggestions or questions to
tmmsn@sci.tamucc.edu

This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet