Andrews' beaked whale

Andrews' beaked whale (Mesoplodon bowdoini), sometimes known as the deep-crest beaked whale or splay-toothed whale, is one of the most poorly known members of a poorly known genus. This species is noteworthy for not having yet been observed in the wild (as of 2008).

The body of Andrews' beaked whale is rather robust in comparison with other members of the genus. The melon is rather low, and the beak is short and thick. The lower jaw is fairly peculiar in that halfway through it rises up significantly with the teeth extending over the rostrum (beak). The head also sometimes has a light patch on the sides, more prominent in the males. The male, overall dark gray to black, has a lighter "saddle" marking between the blowhole and dorsal fin on its back. Males also carry scars typical of the genus. Females are slate gray with grayish-white flanks and belly.

Andrews' beaked whale
  • Size

    Females are believed to reach at least 4.9 meters (16 feet) and males 4.5 meters (15 feet). The young are believed to be around 2.2 meters long (7.2 feet) when born.

  • Feeding

    Dietary information is available from stomach contents analyses of stranded beaked whales and from whaling operations. Their preferred diet is primarily deep-water squid, but also benthic and benthopelagic fish and some crustaceans, mostly taken near the sea floor. In a recent study, gouge marks in the seafloor were interpreted to be a result of feeding activities by beaked whales.

  • Life History

    Very little is known about the life histories of beaked whales.There are currently no data available on their reproductive rates.

  • Behavior

    The calving season may be during summer and autumn off New Zealand. Otherwise, any behavior is completely unknown.