Beaked Whale Identification Guide
Tooth position
A single pair of large teeth are positioned at apex of the mandible. Teeth incline anteriorly.

Tooth exposure
Nearly all of erupted teeth in adult males are exposed above the gumline. Teeth do not erupt in female or juveniles.

Tooth shape
The lateral profile of the exposed tooth is shaped like an isosceles triangle. Instead of being smoothly convex the anterior margin has three flattish areas between the denticle and root. The anterior margin is also shorter than the posterior margin. The denticle is on the dorso-anterior edge of the tooth. The angle formed by the denticle is between 85 to 90 degrees.
Mesoplodon hectori - Right medial tooth
Adult male
Illustration from Dalebout et. al. 2002
NMNH | Vertebrate Zoology | Marine Mammal Program | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement | Contact Us | Copyright ©2007 Smithsonian Institution