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 Berardius, Ziphius, Tasmacetus, Indopacetus, Hyperoodon, M. densirostris, M. europaeus, M. ginkgodens, M. grayi, M. hectori, M. mirus, M. perrini, M. peruvianus, and M. stejnegeri.

Basirostral groove absent or present as a shallow groove that does not extend past the prominental turbercle. Separates from M. layardii.

The maxillary prominences rise 15+ mm higher than the height of the premaxillaries where the latter passes between the former. Separates from M. bidens.

The space between the nasals is extremely narrow. Separates from M. bowdoini and M. carlhubbsi.
Mesoplodon traversii - Right and left lateral skull
Sex unknown, Maturity unknown
MacGregor Collection, Auckland University School of Biological Sciences
From Van Helden et al. 2002
NMNH | Vertebrate Zoology | Marine Mammal Program | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement | Contact Us | Copyright ©2007 Smithsonian Institution