Beaked Whale Identification Guide
Head Shape
Melon is well defined, relatively steep, more so than most Mesoplodon species, about the same as Ziphius and less so than both Hyperoodon and Berardius species. Long beak is well differentiated from the melon and is more slender at its tip than other ziphiids. Jawline is weakly sinusoidal.

Coloration
Dark dorsally and light ventrally with a faintly visible light patch on the anterior surface of the head. There is a light patch just anterodorsal to the flippers that appears to be continuous with the light patch on the belly. An additional pair of elongate light patches exists on the sides running posteroventrally from just behind the flipper to the caudal peduncle.

Size
Adult body length ranges from 6 -7 m. Recorded maximum body length for adult males and females is 7.0 m and 6.6 m, respectively. Body length at birth is 3 m.

Most Likely Confused With:
Tasmacetus shepherdi - Lateral head
Adult female - USNM 484878
NMNH | Vertebrate Zoology | Marine Mammal Program | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement | Contact Us | Copyright ©2007 Smithsonian Institution