Beaked Whale Identification Guide
Head Shape
The moderate length beak slopes fairly steeply onto a small, though well rounded melon. In males, the mouthline curves sharply upward about halfway back from the beak tip. This arch is less pronounced in females and juveniles, though the mouthline is still sinusoidal.

Males are darkly pigmented over the entire body, with the possible exception of a lighter area on the anterior half of the rostrum and lower jaw. Males also tend to have white spots, 3-4 cm in diameter, distributed on the postero-ventral third of the animal. These may be parasite scars and not normal pigmentation. Adult males appear to lack linear scars, typically seen in males of other Mesoplodon species. Females are medium gray dorsally and light gray ventrally.

Adult body length ranges between 4.5 to 4.9 m. Recorded maximum body length for adult males and females is 4.8 m and 4.9, respectively. Length at birth is unknown.

Most Likely Confused With:
Mesoplodon ginkgodens - Ventral body
Adult male - STR1159
NMNH | Vertebrate Zoology | Marine Mammal Program | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement | Contact Us | Copyright ©2007 Smithsonian Institution