Unidentified Beaked Whale
Mesoplodon sp. 'A'


Other Names: None

Habitat: Offshore

Status: Unknown

Population: Unknown

Threats: Unknown

Group Size: 2-3

Fin Position: Far behind center

Newborns: Unknown length and weight

Adults: c.16 -18 ft (5-5.5 m), Unknown weight

Diet: Squid or octopus

Teeth:


Description

Dorsal fin:

- low, triangular dorsal fin variable
- may have straight or slightly falcate trailing edge
- wide base

Flukes:

- likely to have no notch in middle

Flippers:

- small, pointed flippers

Head:

- head and beak lighter than dark back (usually appear reddish brown or tan)
- moderately long, wide beak
- upper part of beak may be paler on some males
- small but distinct melon
- relatively flat head

Female/Juvenile:

- small but distinct melon
- uniformly gray-brown or bronze coloration
- trailing edge of dorsal fin more falcate than in male

Other characteristics:

- white or cream-colored swathe
- black-brown or chocolate brown body color
- body extensively scarred, especially on trailing edge of swathe


Behavior

- at sea, behaves similarly to other Mesoplodon species
- generally lethargic and sluggish at the surface; does not normally engage in lobtailing, spyhopping, or other "playful" activities, though on one occasion a lone male was seen to breech clear of water 3 times in a row
- has been seen lazily rolling away at the surface, disappearing from view much like a fish
- usually seen traveling in tight groups at a fairly moderate pace
- no visible blow


Distribution

- deep warm waters of the eastern tropical Pacific, usually offshore
- true representation of the species distribution is not really known due to lack of sightings
- so far reported off the coasts of Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru
- most sightings from deep offshore waters, and all have been in areas of very warm water, around 80 F (27 C)
- although its status is unknown, the number of sightings suggests that it is not particularly rare for a beaked whale



TMMSN Galveston

TMMSN Corpus Christi

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

This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet