Blainville's Beaked Whale
Mesoplodon densirostris


Other Names: Atlantic Beaked Whale, Dense Beaked Whale, and Tropical Beaked Whale

Habitat: Offshore

Status: Unknown

Population: Unknown

Threats: Unknown

Group Size: 1-6

Fin Position: Far Behind Center

Newborns: 6'"-8'" (1.9-2.6 m), c. 130 lbs (60 kg)"

Adults: 14'-19' (4.5-6 m), c.1 ton

Diet: Squid or octopus and occasionally fish

Teeth: 0 on top row, 2 on bottom row


Description

Dorsal fin:

- prominent
-curved or triangle shaped

Flukes:

- dark upper sides, light undersides
- no notch, but may have a bulge or small nick

Jawbone (male):

- 2 forward tilting teeth erupt from lower jaw in males, do not erupt from females
- strongly arched lower jaw
- males have large bulge in lower jaw
- females may develop white lower and upper jaws

Head (female):

- tip of rostrum lighter in color than male
- may develop white lower and upper jaws
- arched lower jaw (not as prominent as in male)
- teeth do not erupt

Other characteristics:

- small flippers
- female tend to be lighter in color then males
- flattened forehead
- dark bluish-gray upper side and sides may darken with age
- body may be extensively scarred
- robust, spindle-shape body
- light patch on underside
- tan or grayish-white blotches all over body


Behavior

- performs series of shallow dives at 15 to 20 second intervals, then dives from 20 to 45 minutes
- on surface, beak appears first, pointing skyward; after taking a breath, it sometimes slaps it against the surface of the water, and the male rolls slightly before disappearing
- the blow is small and unconscious, but can be seen on a calm day, and projects forward
- scarring suggest fights between rival males
- flukes don't raise above surface on diving


Distribution

- widely distributed in warm temperate and tropical waters, primarily on the Atlantic coast of the USA
- recorded in all the world's oceans and probably has the widest distribution of any Mesoplodon species
- seems to prefer deep waters and is thought to be one of the most pelagic of the beaked whales, because it strands on oceanic islands as often as on the mainland
- seems to avoid polar waters



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This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet