Andrew's beaked whale
The Andrew's Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon bowdoini), sometimes known as the Deep-crest Beaked Whale or Splay Toothed Whale, is one of the most poorly known members of a poorly known genus. The specific name bowdoini is in reference to George S. Bowdoin, a donor to the American Museum of Natural History. This species is noteworthy for not having yet been observed in the wild as of 2002.
The body of the Andrew's Beaked Whale is rather robust in comparison with other members of the genus. The melon on the whale is rather low, and the beak is short and thick. The lower jaw is fairly peculiar in that halfway through it rises up significantly with the teeth extending over the rostrum (or "beak"). The head also sometimes has a light patch on the sides, more prominent in the males. Males, overall dark gray to black, have a lighter "saddle" marking in between the blowhole and dorsal fin on their backs. Males also carry scars typical of the genus. Females are slate gray with grayish-white flanks and belly. Cookie cutter shark bites are present in both genders. Females are believed to reach at least 4.9 meters (16 feet) and males 4.5 meters (15 feet). The young are believed to be around 2.2 meters long (7 feet) when born.
The calving season may be during summer and Autumn off New Zealand, otherwise any behavior is completely unknown.
Population and distribution
The Andrew's Beaked Whale lives in the Southern Hemisphere, and its precise range is uncertain. Some 35 stranded specimens have been recorded in Australia and New Zealand, Macquarie Island, the Falkland Islands, Wales and Tristan da Cunha. That range may imply a circumpolar distribution. However, there are no confirmed sightings to back this up.
The Andrew's Beaked Whale has never been hunted and there are no records of it being caught in fish nets.
- MNZ MM002133, collected Spirits Bay, Northland, New Zealand 1992.
- ^ Taylor, B.L., Baird, R., Barlow, J., Dawson, S.M., Ford, J., Mead, J.G., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Wade, P. & Pitman, R.L. (2008). Mesoplodon bowdoini. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 24 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of data deficient
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