Hyperoodon ampullatus is a toothed whale and can be recognised as such by the single blowhole and the presence of teeth (rather than baleen). It is a member of the beaked whale family with the characteristic V-shaped crease on the throat and the short dorsal fin set relatively far back. The Northern bottlenose whale is a large beaked whale that can reach up to 10 m in length. The lower jaw has a single pair of teeth (exposed only in adult males). It has a very distinct beak and a very steep, often bulbous forehead. It has a dark grey to chocolate brown dorsal and lateral colouration and somewhat lighter below. Much of the face may be light grey in colour. Adults are often covered with scratches and scars.The northern bottlenose whale may be confused with Cuvier's beaked whale Ziphius cavirostris but can be recognised by having a very distinct beak and a very steep, often bulbous forehead. Northern bottlenose whales are usually found in small pods of 4 to 35 individuals, with some degree of either age or sex segregation. It can be seen, on occasion, to leap clear out of the water. Dives may last up to 2 hours long (Kinze, 2002).
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