Southern Bottlenose Whale
Hyperoodon planifrons


Other Names: Antarctic Bottlenosed Whale, Flathead

Habitat: Offshore

Status: Unknown

Population: Unknown

Threats: Unknown

Group Size: 1-25, but fewer than 10 more common in Antarctic

Fin Position: Far behind center

Newborns: 9 -11 ft (2.9-3.5 m), Unknown weight

Adults: 19 -24 ft (6-7.5 m), c.6-8 tons

Diet: Squid or octopus and occasionally fish or other invertebrates

Teeth: 0 on top row, 2 on bottom row


Description

Dorsal fin:

- slightly curled tip
- slightly falcate or triangular in shape

Flukes:

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

Flippers:

- small, tapering flippers
- pointed tips

Head:

- indent above upper jaw
- bulbous forehead and small beak lighter than rest of body
- wide blowhole located in indentation

Male Jawbone:

- teeth erupt at tip of lower jaw

Immature Female Head:

- bulbous forehead less well defined in juveniles and females
- young animals darker than adults

Other characteristics:

- robust, cylindrical body shape
- mottled, creamy brown or grayish white underside
- body frequently covered with scratches and scars
- color variation: bluish black, bluish gray, mid-brown, dull yellow


Behavior

- few reports of swimming near boats, but this may be due to lack of observation rather than shyness
- after long dive, 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 visible in good conditions
- can stay underwater for at least an hour, but typical dive time is shorter
- when swimming fast, especially under duress, may raise head clear of water on surfacing
- probably a deep diver, though does not tend to travel much horizontal distance while submerged


Distribution

- cold, deep waters of the southern hemisphere from Antarctica north to at least 30 S
- other possible sightings south of Japan, around Hawaii, and along the equator (in the Pacific and Indian Oceans) have not been identified with certainty but may be discrete populations
- most common beyond the continental shelf and over submarine canyons, in water deeper than 3,280 ft (1,000 m)
- rarely found in water less than 655 ft (200 m) deep
- in summer, most frequently seen within about 60 miles (100 km) of the Antarctic ice edge, where it appears to be relatively common



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This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet