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Pygmy Beaked Whale
Scientific Name:
Mesoplodon peruvianus
Family Name:
Aprox. 10 feet
dark gray above and lighter below
squid and shrimp
HOME >> WATER SPECIES >> WHALES >> Pygmy Beaked Whale

Pygmy Beaked Whale

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Pygmy Beaked Whale Description
  The pygmy beaked whale is one of the most recently described members of the genus, and appears to be the smallest of the species of Mesoplodon. Two morphs exist, a scarred black and white form that is easily identified in the field (presumably adult males), and a smaller uniformly brown one (probably females and subadults). These animals have moderately long beaks, and low triangular dorsal fins with slightly falcate or straight trailing edges. They tend to be dark gray above and lighter below, apparently with relatively little scarring. They have small, triangular, wide-based dorsal fins that are shaped like those of harbor porpoises.

The most distinctive characteristic is the teeth; however, which are extremely small and egg-shaped in cross section (although generally they are not visible in at-sea sightings).

This is the smallest known species of Mesoplodon; maximum known length is only 3.9 m, apparently with males larger than females. At birth, these animals are about 1.6 m long.

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