Stejneger.s Beaked Whale
Mesoplodon stejnegeri


Other Names: Saber-toothed Beaked Whale, Bering Sea Beaked Whale, North Pacific Beaked Whale

Habitat: Offshore

Status: Rare

Population: Unknown

Threats: Entanglement in fishing nets

Group Size: 5-15

Fin Position: Far behind center

Newborns: c.5 ft (1.5 m), unknown weight

Adults: 16 -17 ft (5.5.3 m), 1-1.5 tons

Diet: Squid or octopus and occasionally fish

Teeth: 0 on top row, and 2 on bottom row


Description

Dorsal fin:

- small, nearly triangular or falcate dorsal fin
- slightly concave trailing edge

Flukes:

- pointed tips
- triangular flukes
- no notch in middle
- straight or slightly concave trailing edges

Flippers:

- small, narrow flippers

Head:

- single pair of teeth erupt in middle of mouth line (males only)
- dark, gently sloping forehead
- long beak with strongly arched mouth line
- mouth line is straighter (females only)

Jawbone (male):

- teeth set back about 8 in (20 cm) from tip of jaw

Other characteristics:

- black, dark gray, or brown upper side
- white oval scars may be visible on flanks
- well-developed ridge running from dorsal fin to flukes
- some scarring on body
- spindle-shaped body
- lighter-colored or scarred underside


Behavior

- small groups sometimes travel abreast, almost touching one another, and may surface and submerge in unison
- reports of 5 or 6 shallow dives, followed by long dives of 10 to 15 minutes
- diving involves a slow, casual roll at the surface
- groups usually include both small and large animals, suggesting a mixing of ages and/or sexes
- blow sometimes visible, but normally low and inconspicuous
- not very approachable


Distribution

- cold temperate and subarctic waters of the North Pacific and Sea of Japan
- distribution confused, because many earlier reports have since been re-identified as other Mesoplodon species
- it is known mostly from strandings, but some sightings made by experienced observers
- majority of records from Alaskan waters, especially the Aleutian Islands (which appear to be the center of distribution)
- although it is sometimes known as the Bering Sea Beaked Whale, seems to occur only in deep waters of the extreme southern part of the Bering Sea and probably not in shallow waters farther north
- small, possibly distinct, population also occurs in the Sea of Japan, especially off the coasts of Honshu and southern Hokkaido
- prefers deep water over the continental shelf



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This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet