Facts about Beaked Whale, "Scientific name for Beaked Whale Mesoplodon densirostris". The Beaked Whale are an elusive type of mammals, you can hardly come across one and maybe if you are lucky you can come close to one to even study its patterns. Generally, Beaked Whale belongs to the family known as Ziphiidae, and consists of about 22 species. Just as their name imply, they have elongated beaks that uniquely makes them different from the other type of whales.
Apparently due to their low abundance, and the Beaked Whale mysterious nature, the Beaked Whale prove to be among the most elusive group of mammals. In fact about four species of the beaked whale are well-known.
Beaked Whale Physical Description
Just from its descriptive name, it is obvious that it has beak shaped structure as its mouth. From a single glance, particularly its beak you would easily think it’s a dolphin. This type of whales is moderately sized as they range from between 15 to 25 ft. (4.6 to 7.6 meters)and can weigh up to 15 tons (13.6 metric tonnes).
Other distinctive features that make it easy to identify it include;
Under the Beaked Whale throat you will notice a pair of converging grooves. Unlike most sea mammals, the beaked whale’s tail fluke doesn’t have a notch. In order for one to differentiate between the 22 species, he or she must consider their skin color, body size, beak length, and lastly their forehead shape.
Range and Habitat of the Beaked Whales
We definitely do not expect the 22 different species of the Beaked Whale to be based in a particular range. It is definitely one of the most widely spread family, ranging from the equator in all oceans to ice edges in the north and south poles.
Basically, beaked whales prefer to inhabit offshore waters with depths not less than 300 meters. The Beaked Whale are quite common at the bottom surface of the waters including the escarpments, seamounts, canyons and the oceanic island. Specific habitat range will vary with the specie in consideration.
Beaked Whale Feeding
While describing the Beaked Whale, I mentioned a pair of unique grooves under its throat. This particular physical trait enable sit to have a special feeding mechanism. Unlike many whale species that capture their prey using their teeth the beaked whale sucks its prey to into its oral cavity.
Mostly they feed on the deep-water squid and crustaceans that are often found near the sea surface. Some the beaked species like Blainville Beaked Whale, Cuvier Beaked Whale, and others hunt by echolocation. Echolocation is the use of sound and its reflection to determine the position of an object.
Beaked Whale Behaviors
The Beaked Whales can often be seen in groups of more than two individuals. It is also very common, that a group will contain only one male individual, implying a polygamous mating trait. The two pair of teeth is dominant in the male variety and dormant in the female kind, the tusk like teeth are often used as weapons while the male fight for the right or dominance of the female for mating purposes. This makes the beaked whale quite an aggressive species especially the males when they cross paths.
This is general information based on the Beaked Whale; you can always find more information on the different 22 species to be precise though they share a number of traits and thus belong to the same family. The scientific name for whale (Cetacea)- An order of marine mammals, including the whales). Fear of Whales (Cetaphobia).