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Data Deficient (DD)

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Biology

Beaked whales are rarely seen in the wild and so very little is known about the biology of these elusive species (2). The strap-toothed whale may be solitary or occur in small groups of two to three individuals (5) (8) (12). The female gives birth to a single calf in spring or summer (5) (7), after a gestation period of around nine to twelve months (12), with the calf measuring about 2.2 metres at birth (7) (9). The diet of the strap-toothed whale is thought to comprise mainly squid, as well as some fish and crustaceans (11) (12) (13), and like other beaked whales it is believed to be a suction feeder, sucking prey into the mouth and swallowing it whole (2). The teeth of the male, not needed for feeding, have developed into weapons, with adult males often bearing scars from fights (2) (11). However, the adaptive significance of this species' unique tooth shape has never been fully explained (2), although it is not thought to hinder feeding, despite severely restricting the male's gape (12) (13).

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Source: ARKive

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