Cuvier's beaked whale

Cuvier's beaked whale or the goose-beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris), the only member of the genus Ziphius, is the most widely distributed of all the beaked whales. Though it is pelagic, prefers water deeper than 1,000 m (3,300 ft) and avoids ships, it is still one of the most frequently spotted beaked whales.

Cuvier's has a cosmopolitan distribution in deep, offshore waters from the tropics to the cool temperate seas.

The species name comes from Greek xiphos, "sword", and Latin cavus, "hollow" and rostrum, "beak", referring to the indentation on the head in front of the blowhole.

Cuvier's beaked whale
  • Size

    The body of Cuvier's beaked whale is robust and cigar-shaped, similar to those of other beaked whales and can be difficult to distinguish from many of the mesoplodont whalesat sea. It grows up to about 5–7 m (16–23 ft) in length and weighs 2,500 kg (5,500 lb).

  • Feeding

    Cuvier's beaked whale feeds on several species of squid, including those in the families Cranchiidae, Onychoteuthidae, Brachioteuthidae, Enoploteuthidae, Octopoteuthidae and Histioteuthidae; it also preys on deep-sea fish.

  • Life History

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

  • Behavior

    Cuvier's beaked whale may be one of the most common and abundant of the beaked whales. In 2011, a tagged Cuvier's beaked whale dived to a depth of 2,992 metres (9,816 ft), or 1.8 miles, which is the deepest recorded dive by any mammal.
    The whales have rib cages that can fold down so as to reduce air pockets and decrease buoyancy.