The ginkgo-toothed beaked whale is known from only a few dozen widely-scattered strandings and captures (no confirmed sightings) in temperate and tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific Ocean, from Sri Lanka east to the shores of North America (California) and the Galápagos Islands (Mead 1989; Pitman 2002). There have been a few records from New Zealand and Australia, indicating that this species also inhabits the southern Indo-Pacific. Most records are from the seas around Japan. Sightings of what may have been this species were also made in the Arabian Sea. It is generally hypothesized that the range is continuous across the Pacific and at least to the eastern Indian Ocean, but until the species can be reliably identified at sea, its true distribution will probably remain unknown (MacLeod et al. 2006).
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