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 are positioned at the apex of the mandible.Separates from M. bidens, M. bowdoini, M. carlhubbsi, M. densirostris, M. europaeus, M. grayi, M. ginkgodens, M. layardii, M. peruvianus, M. stejnegeri, and M. traversii.

The space between the nasals is wide with parallel sides and "U" shaped. Separates from M. perrini.

Lacrimal and frontal comprise bones of antorbital tubercle apex. Separates from M. hectori.
Mesoplodon mirus - Right lateral skull
Adult male - USNM 571357 (top)
Adult female - USNM 504612 (bottom)
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