Blainville’s Beaked Whale – Mesoplodon densirostris

Blainville's Beaked species canaries Mesoplodon densirostris cetaceans species canary Islands Tenerife whale watching atlantic ocean Lanzarote fuerteventura Gran Canaria
Blainville’s Beaked Whale – Mesoplodon densirostris

Blainville’s Beaked Whale, also known as Dense-Beaked Whale, belongs to the family of the Ziphiidae and thus is part of the order of the Whales (Cetacea). Mesoplodon densirostris got named by Henri de Blainville, who first described it in 1817 only by a jaw bone.

Description, Anatomy & Characteristics

The Blainville’s Beaked Whale has a dark grey colouration on the upper side, while the belly is light grey to white. It is often marked with white scars. Its snout is long and its lower jaw slightly arched upwards. Two large teeth grow in this arch.

It becomes about 4.7m long and weighs up to 1000kg.

Habitat, Distribution & Occurence

Mesoplodon densirostris prefers open water with depths between 500 and 1200m. They rarely swim in shallow waters.

Blainville’s Beaked Whales occurs in all subtropical and temperate oceans. Sightings are known from Portugal, South Africa, Japan, the western Mediterranean Sea, the Caribbean, the Canary Islands, the North American Atlantic coast, the western Indian Ocean and the middle Pacific.

Blainville's Beaked Whale Mesoplodon densirostris Map Distribution Occurence
Map with distribution area.
By Alessio Marrucci – own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

When diving on the Canary Islands it is very unlikely to observe it. Nevertheless, it is seen on whale watching tours from time to time.

Biology & Feeding

They live in small schools of two to nine animals that prefer the open sea and rarely come close to the coast. During their dives, times of up to 45 minutes and depths of up to 1600m were measured.

Unlike many other whale species, they do not migrate.

They feed on fish and cephalopods.

Its scars originate from parasites, shark attacks, orcas and rival fights within its own species.

Sources & Links

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