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Encyclopedia > Giant Beaked Whale
iGiant beaked whales

Size comparison of an average human against Arnoux's beaked whale

Size comparison of an average human against Baird's beaked whale
Conservation status
Lower risk
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetacea
Suborder: Odontoceti
Family: Ziphidae
Genus: Berardius
Species: B. bairdii
B. arnuxii

Binomial name
Berardius arnuxii
Duvernoy, 1851

Arnoux's Beaked Whale range
Berardius bairdii
Stejneger, 1883

Baird's Beaked Whale range

The genus Berardius contains two species of beaked whale, Baird's Beaked Whale and Arnoux's Beaked Whale. The two species are so similar that some scientists (see e.g. [4]) regard their separation into distinct species as a historical anomaly. The two species are the largest of all beaked whales and collectively they are sometimes referred to as the giant beaked whales. Image File history File links Arnoux's_beaked_whale_size. ... Image File history File links Baird's_beaked_whale_size. ... The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species continuing to survive. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is how biologists group and categorize extinct and living species of organisms. ... Phyla Subregnum Parazoa Porifera Subregnum Eumetazoa Placozoa Orthonectida Rhombozoa Radiata (unranked) Ctenophora Cnidaria Bilateria (unranked) Acoelomorpha Myxozoa Superphylum Deuterostomia Chordata Hemichordata Echinodermata Chaetognatha Xenoturbellida Superphylum Ecdysozoa Kinorhyncha Loricifera Priapulida Nematoda Nematomorpha Onychophora Tardigrada Arthropoda Superphylum Platyzoa Platyhelminthes Gastrotricha Rotifera Acanthocephala Gnathostomulida Micrognathozoa Cycliophora Superphylum Lophotrochozoa Sipuncula Nemertea Phoronida Bryozoa Entoprocta... {{{subdivision_ranks}}} See below Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates. ... Orders Multituberculata (extinct) Palaeoryctoides (extinct) Triconodonta (extinct) Subclass Australosphenida Ausktribosphenida Monotremata Subclass Eutheria (excludes extinct ancestors) Afrosoricida Anagaloidea (extinct) Arctostylopida (extinct) Artiodactyla Carnivora Cetacea Chiroptera Cimolesta (extinct) Cingulata Creodonta (extinct) Condylarthra (extinct) Dermoptera Desmostylia (extinct) Dinocerata (extinct) Embrithopoda (extinct) Hyracoidea Insectivora Lagomorpha Leptictida (extinct) Litopterna (extinct) Macroscelidea Mesonychia (extinct) Notoungulata... Suborders Mysticeti Odontoceti Archaeoceti (extinct) (see text for families) The order Cetacea includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. ... Families See text The toothed whales (systematic name Odontoceti) form a suborder of the cetaceans. ... Genera Berardius Hyperoodon Indopacetus Mesoplodon Tasmacetus Ziphius A beaked whale is any of at least 20 species of small whale in the family Ziphiidae. ... In biology, binomial nomenclature is the formal method of naming species. ... Georges Louis Duvernoy (August 6, 1777 - March 1, 1855) was a French zoologist. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1357x628, 34 KB) Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1. ... Leonhard Hess Stejneger (October 30, 1851 - February 28, 1943) was a zoologist. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1357x628, 34 KB) Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1. ... A Fin whale The term whale is ambiguous: it can refer to all cetaceans, to just the larger ones, or only to members of particular families within the order Cetacea. ... Genera Berardius Hyperoodon Indopacetus Mesoplodon Tasmacetus Ziphius A beaked whale is any of at least 20 species of small whale in the family Ziphiidae. ...


Baird's Beaked Whale was first described by Leonhard Hess Stejneger in 1883 from a specimen found in the Bering Sea. It is named for Spencer Fullerton Baird, a past Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute. Arnoux's Beaked Whale was described in 1851 by Duvernoy from a skull found in New Zealand. Berard was the captain of the ship that carried the skull from New Zealand to France where Duvernoy analysed it. Arnoux was the doctor on board the ship. [6] Leonhard Hess Stejneger (October 30, 1851 - February 28, 1943) was a zoologist. ... Satellite photo of the Bering Sea Bering Sea and the North Pacific Ocean Bearing Sea with Kamchatka Peninsula and Alaska The Bering (or Imarpik) Sea is a body of water north of, and separated from, the north Pacific Ocean by the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands. ... Spencer Fullerton Baird Spencer Fullerton Baird (February 3, 1823 – August 19, 1887) was an American ornithologist and ichthyologist. ... The Smithsonian castle, as seen through the garden gate. ... Georges Louis Duvernoy (August 6, 1777 - March 1, 1855) was a French zoologist. ...

Contents

Physical description

The two species have very similar features and would be indistinguishable at sea if they did not exist in disjoint locations. Arnoux's is generally shorter. Estimated lengths of live Arnoux's at sea have been up to 12m but all dead specimens have been considerably smaller. The Baird's on the other hand have been confirmed to grow to 12-13m.


Both whales have a very long prominent beak, even by beaked whale standards. The lower jaw is longer than the upper and the front teeth are visible even when the mouth is fully close. The melon is particularly bulbous. The body shape is slender - the girth is only 50% of length. The body is uniformly coloured and a particular individual's colour may anything from light grey through to black. The flippers are small, rounded and set towards the front of the body. The dorsal fin similarly is small and rounded and set about three-quarters of the way along the back. Both species pick up numerous white scars all over the body as they age and may be a rough indicator of age. There is little sexual dimorphism in either species. The melon is a oily, fatty lump of tissue found at the centre of the forehead of most dolphins and toothed whales. ... Dorsal Fin of the Orca A dorsal fin is a fin located on the backs of fishes, whales, dolphins and porpoises. ... Female (left) and male Common Pheasant, illustrating the dramatic difference in both color and size between the sexes Sexual dimorphism is the systematic difference in form between individuals of different sex in the same species. ...


Population and distribution

The two species ranges do not overlap and this perhaps the most significant reason why historically they have been treated as separate species.


Arnoux's inhabit great tracts of the Southern Ocean. Beachings in New Zealand and Argentina indicate that the whale is relatively common in the areas south of those countries down to Antarctica. It has also been spotted close to South Georgia and South Africa, indicating a likely circumpolar distribution. The northernmost stranding was as 34 degrees south, indicating that whale inhabits cool and temperate as well as polar waters. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, also claimed by Argentina. ...


Baird's Beaked Whale is found in the North Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan and the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk. They appear to prefer seas over steep cliffs at the edge of the continental shelf. Specimens have been recorded as far north as the Bering Sea and as far south as the Baja California peninsula on the east side and the southern islands of Japan on the west. The Sea of Japan (East Sea) is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean. ... Map of the Sea of Okhotsk. ... Satellite photo of the Bering Sea Bering Sea and the North Pacific Ocean Bearing Sea with Kamchatka Peninsula and Alaska The Bering (or Imarpik) Sea is a body of water north of, and separated from, the north Pacific Ocean by the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands. ... Baja California (highlighted) Baja California or Lower California is a peninsula in the west of Mexico. ...


The total population is not known for either species. Estimates for Baird's are of the order of 30,000 individuals.


Behaviour

Little is known about the behaviour of Arnoux's Beaked Whale but is expected to be similar to that of Baird's. The whales normally move in close-knit groups of about 3-10, with groups of 50 observed in exceptional circumstances. Considering the extent of whaling of the species, the pod structure is not well known. One interesting curiousity is that two-thirds of all whales caught have been male, despite the fact that females are somewhat larger than males and thus would be the preferred targets for whalers, if they were as easy to catch.


Conservation

Arnoux's Beaked Whale has never been exploited and although no abudance estimates are available, the population is not believed to be endangered.


In the twentieth century Baird's was hunted primarily by Japan and to a lesser extent by the USSR, Canada and the United States. The USSR reported killing 176 individuals before hunting ended in 1974. Canadian and American whalers killed 60 before halting in 1966. Japan killed around 4000 individuals before the 1986 morartorium on whaling. 300 were killed in the most prolific year, 1952. Under the terms of the morartorium a quota was introduced and now 62 animals are killed each year for scientific research, with the meat being sold in local markets. The species is not believed to be threatened by this level of hunting. The crew of the oceanographic research vessel Princesse Alice, of Albert Grimaldi (later Prince Albert I of Monaco) pose while flensing a catch. ...


Common names

  • B. arnuxii Arnoux's Beaked Whale, Southern Four-toothed Whale, Southern Beaked Whale, New Zealand Beaked Whale, Southern Giant Bottlenose Whale, Southern Porpoise Whale
  • B. bairdii Baird's Beaked Whale, Northern Giant Bottlenose Whale, North Pacific Bottlenose Whale, Giant Four-toothed Whale, Northern Four-toothed Whale, North Pacific Four-toothed Whale

References

Cetaceans Portal
  1. Giant Beaked Whales in the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals pages 519-522 Teikyo Kasuya, 1998. ISBN 0-12-551340-2
  2. National Audubon Society Guide to Marine Mammals of the World Reeves et al, 2002. ISBN 0-375-41141-0.
  3. Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises Carwardine, 1995. ISBN 0-7513-2781-6
  4. A study of the genus Berardius McCann, 1975. Sci. Rep. Whales Res. Inst. Vol 27, 111-137.
  5. An image of a Baird's Beaked Whale at monteraybaywhalewatch.com
  6. cetacean.org on the origin of the species' names

  Results from FactBites:
 
Giant beaked whale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (849 words)
Baird's Beaked Whale was first described by Leonhard Hess Stejneger in 1883 from a specimen found in the Bering Sea.
Arnoux's Beaked Whale was described in 1851 by Duvernoy from a skull found in New Zealand.
Baird's Beaked Whale is found in the North Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan and the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk.
CMS: Berardius arnuxii, Arnoux┬┤s beaked whale (966 words)
The feeding habits of Arnoux's beaked whales are assumed to be similar to those of their Northern Hemisphere relatives, Baird's beaked whales, thus consisting of benthic and pelagic fishes and cephalopods (Jefferson et al.
Arnoux's beaked whales are known to enter pack-ice and may live very close to the ice edge in summer, but are likely to move away in winter (Carwardine, 1995).
- Balcomb KC (1989) Baird's Beaked Whales - Berardius bairdii Stejneger, 1883; Arnoux Beaked Whale - Berardius arnuxii Duvernoy, 1851.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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