Beaked Whale Identification Guide
Diagnostic features of the skull and mandible
On the vertex of the dorsal skull the premaxillary bone extends forward of the nasal and frontal bones. Separates from Berardius and Ziphius.

A sulcus (groove) running along the middle of the combined surfaces of the nasal bones so depresses their combined middle that it is the lateral portion of each nasal bone that reaches farthest forward on the vertex. Separates from Tasmacetus and Indopacetus.

When the skull is upright and the long axis of the anterior half of the beak is horizontal, a horizontal plane transecting the summit of either maxillary prominence transects the mesethmoid bone. Separates from Hyperoodon.

Tooth alveoli of mandible overlap the posterior mandibular symphysis .Separates from M. densirostris, M. europaeus, M. ginkgodens, M. grayi, Mesoplodon hectori, Mesoplodon mirus, Mesoplodon perrini, M. peruvianus, and M. stejnegeri

Deep basirostral groove extends anteriorly well past the prominental turbercle. Separates from M. bidens, M. bowdoini, M. carlhubbsi, and M. traversii.
Mesoplodon layardii - Posterior skull
Adult male - USNM 550150
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