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Andrew's Beaked Whale
Size comparison against an average human
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetacea
Suborder: Odontoceti
Family: Ziphidae
Genus: Mesoplodon
Species: M. bowdoini
Binomial name
Mesoplodon bowdoini
Andrews, 1908
Andrew's Beaked Whale range

The Andrew's 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. The specific name bowdoini is in reference to George S. Bowdoin, a donor to the American Museum of Natural History. This species is noteworthy for not having yet been observed in the wild as of 2002.

Contents

Physical description

The body of the Andrew's Beaked Whale is rather robust in comparison with other members of the genus. The melon on the whale 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 (or "beak"). The head also sometimes has a light patch on the sides, more prominent in the males. Males, overall dark gray to black, have a lighter "saddle" marking in between the blowhole and dorsal fin on their backs. Males also carry scars typical of the genus. Females are slate gray with grayish-white flanks and belly. Cookie cutter shark bites are present in both genders. 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 feet) when born.

Behavior

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

Population and distribution

The Andrew's Beaked Whale lives in the Southern Hemisphere, and its precise range is uncertain. Some 35 stranded specimens have been recorded in Australia and New Zealand, Macquarie Island, the Falkland Islands, Wales and Tristan da Cunha. That range may imply a circumpolar distribution. However, there are no confirmed sightings to back this up.

Conservation

The Andrew's Beaked Whale has never been hunted and there are no records of it being caught in fish nets

References

  1. ^ Taylor, B.L., Baird, R., Barlow, J., Dawson, S.M., Ford, J., Mead, J.G., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Wade, P. & Pitman, R.L. (2008). Mesoplodon bowdoini. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 24 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of data deficient
  • Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals. Edited by William F. Perrin, Bernd Wursig, and J.G.M Thewissen. Academic Press, 2002. ISBN 0-12-551340-2
  • Sea Mammals of the World. Written by Randall R. Reeves, Brent S. Steward, Phillip J. Clapham, and James A. Owell. A & C Black, London, 2002. ISBN 0-7136-6334-0

External links

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