Mesoplodon stejnegeri ranges in length from 3 to 7 m, although they are generally longer than 5.3 m. Females are normally longer than males, and the crania of females are larger than those of males.
Both sexes are uniformly gray to black, with light pale countershading ventrally, although males tend to be more uniformly dark.
Mesoplodon stejnegeri is distinguished from other Mesoplodons by tooth shape and position. Members of this species have two large, exposed, tusk-like teeth on the lower jaw (Nowak 1999). These teeth are also distinctively larger in males.
Scarring, which is present on most M. stejnegeri, results from intraspecific fighting over mates, and is inflicted by the teeth while the mouth is closed (Ridgway and Harrison 1989).
Range length: 3 to 7 m.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: female larger; male more colorful; ornamentation
- Ridgway, S., S. Harrison. 1989. Handbook of Marine Mammals, Volume 4: River Dolphins and the Larger Toothed Whales. New York: Academic Press.