Temperate Oceans Animals

Sowerby's Beaked Whale
Sowerby's Beaked Whale
Class: Mammalia: Mammals Diet: Mollusks
Order: Cetacea: Whales
Size: 5 - 6 m (16 1/2 - 20 ft)
Family: Ziphiidae: Beaked Whales Conservation Status: Data deficient
Scientific Name: Mesoplodon bidens Habitat: deep, cool coastal waters
Range: North Atlantic Ocean

Size of Sowerby's Beaked WhaleThere 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.

Range of Sowerby's Beaked Whale
Copyright © 2006 Missouri Botanical Garden
MBGnet Home