Sowerby's Beaked Whale
5 - 6 m (16 1/2 - 20 ft)
|Scientific Name: Mesoplodon
||Habitat: deep, cool
North Atlantic Ocean
are 12 closely related species of beaked whale in the genus Mesoplodon.
Most tend to live in deep water, staying clear of ships, so they are rarely
seen and their habits are little known. All have fairly well-rounded bodies,
with small flippers in proportion to body size. Males are larger than females.
Mature whales are generally marked with many scars; some of these are caused
by parasites and others are, perhaps, the result of fights between individuals
of the same species. Sowerby's beaked whale was the first beaked
whale to be recognized officially and described as a species, in 1804.
The male has a pointed tooth at each side of the lower jaw. Females have
smaller teeth in this position or no visible teeth at all. Squid and small
fish are the main food of Sowerby's beaked whale. Its breeding habits are
not known, but it is thought to migrate south in winter and to give birth
in its wintering area.