18 June 2020: A webpage for the beaked whale family is now available

Sketch of Sowerby’s beaked whale male © Thorburn, Archibald

We are happy to announce that the beaked whale family now has their own page on the NAMMCO website. 

Beaked whales are a globally distributed family of toothed whales (Ziphiidae or ziphiids), with species found in every ocean, typically in deep-sea areas off the continental shelves or on their slopes. Although it is the second-largest cetacean family, with 22 species across 6 genera, it is also likely the least familiar. This is because it is strictly oceanic and has inconspicuous surfacing behaviour. Most species avoid boats and are very difficult to observe, let alone identify at sea. Indeed much of our knowledge of the different beaked whale species comes from data collected from strandings.

While the northern bottle nose whale has its own page, on the beaked whale family page we first present some general information on common traits for all beaked whales, followed by some specific information for Ziphius cavirostris (Cuvier’s beaked whale), and three Mesoplodon species (Blainville’s and Sowerby’s and True’s beaked whales). We focus on these four species because they are believed to have their distribution extending into the waters of some NAMMCO member countries.

For more information on the animals holding the record for the deepest dives performed by any mammal, visit our new beaked whale page here.

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