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Encyclopedia > Stejneger's Beaked Whale
Mesoplodont whales
Scientific classification or biological classification refers to how biologists group and categorize extinct and living species of organisms. Modern classification has its roots in the system of Carolus Linnaeus, who grouped species according to shared physical characteristics. These groupings have been revised since Linnaeus to improve consistency with the Darwinian... Scientific classification
Kingdom: Phyla Porifera (sponges) Ctenophora (comb jellies) Cnidaria Placozoa Bilateria Acoelomorpha Orthonectida Rhombozoa ? Myxozoa Superphylum Deuterostomia     Chordata (vertebrates, etc.)     Hemichordata (acorn worms)     Echinodermata    ? Chaetognatha (arrow worms) Superphylum Ecdysozoa     Kinorhyncha     Loricifera    ... Animalia
Phylum: Typical Classes Subphylum Urochordata - Tunicates Ascidiacea Thaliacea Larvacea Subphylum Cephalochordata - Lancelets Subphylum Myxini - Hagfishes Subphylum Vertebrata - Vertebrates Petromyzontida - Lampreys Placodermi (extinct) Chondrichthyes - Cartilaginous fishes Acanthodii (extinct) Actinopterygii - Ray-finned fishes Actinistia - Coelacanths Dipnoi - Lungfishes Amphibia - Amphibians Reptilia - Reptiles Aves - Birds Mammalia - Mammals Chordates (phylum Chordata) include the vertebrates, together with... Chordata
Class: Orders Subclass Monotremata Monotremata Subclass Marsupialia Didelphimorphia Paucituberculata Microbiotheria Dasyuromorphia Peramelemorphia Notoryctemorphia Diprotodontia Subclass Placentalia Xenarthra Dermoptera Desmostylia Scandentia Primates Rodentia Lagomorpha Insectivora Chiroptera Pholidota Carnivora Perissodactyla Artiodactyla Cetacea Afrosoricida Macroscelidea Tubulidentata Hyracoidea Proboscidea Sirenia The mammals are the class of vertebrate animals primarily characterized by the presence of mammary... Mammalia
Order: Suborders Mysticeti Odontoceti (see text) The order Cetacea includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. Cetus is Latin and is used in biological names to mean whale; its original meaning, large sea animal, was more general. It comes from Greek ketos ( sea monster). Cetology is the branch of marine science accociated with... Cetacea
Suborder: Families See text The toothed whales (systematic name Odontoceti) form a suborder of the cetaceans. As the name suggests, the suborder is characterized by having teeth (rather than baleen as do animals in the other suborder of cetaceans, mysticeti). Toothed whales are active hunters, feeding on fish, squid, and in... Odontoceti
Family: Genera Berardius Hyperoodon Indopacetus Mesoplodon Tasmacetus Ziphius A beaked whale is any of at least 20 species of small whale in the family Ziphiidae. They are one of the least-known families of large mammals: several species have only been described in the last two decades, and it is entirely... Ziphidae
Genus: Mesoplodon
In biology, a species is a kind of organism. Loosely speaking, a species is a related group of organisms that share a more or less distinctive form and are capable of interbreeding. As defined by Ernst Mayr, species are groups of actually or potentially interbreeding natural populations which are reproductively... Species

See text

The mesoplodont whales are the fourteen In biology, a species is a kind of organism. Loosely speaking, a species is a related group of organisms that share a more or less distinctive form and are capable of interbreeding. As defined by Ernst Mayr, species are groups of actually or potentially interbreeding natural populations which are reproductively... species of Whales are the largest species of exclusively aquatic placental mammals, members of the order Cetacea, which also includes dolphins and porpoises. They are the largest mammals, the largest vertebrates, and the largest known animals in the world. The term whale is ambiguous: it can refer to all cetaceans, to just... whale that make up the genus Mesoplodon, making it the single largest genus in the Suborders Mysticeti Odontoceti (see text) The order Cetacea includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. Cetus is Greek ketos (sea monster). Cetology is the branch of marine science accociated with the study of cetaceans. Cetaceans are the mammals most fully adapted to aquatic life. Their body is fusiform (spindle-shaped). The forelimbs... cetacean Scientific classification or biological classification refers to how biologists group and categorize extinct and living species of organisms. Modern classification has its roots in the system of Carolus Linnaeus, who grouped species according to shared physical characteristics. These groupings have been revised since Linnaeus to improve consistency with the Darwinian... order. Two species were discovered for the first time as recently as 1991 and 1995, and many Marine biology is the study of animal and plant life within saltwater ecosystems. Given that in biology many phyla, families and genera have some species that live in the sea and others that live on land, marine biology deals with those species in which life is spent only (or mainly... marine biologists expect to discover more species in the future. This genus is traditionally characterized by the size and shape of the skull, in particular the distinctive curved beak shape at the jaw, shaped rather like a playground slide. Some other whale species share this property and together they are known as the Genera Berardius Hyperoodon Indopacetus Mesoplodon Tasmacetus Ziphius A beaked whale is any of at least 20 species of small whale in the family Ziphiidae. They are one of the least-known families of large mammals: several species have only been described in the last two decades, and it is entirely... beaked whales. The word mesoplodon comes from the The Greek language (Greek Ελληνικά, IPA – Hellenic) is an Indo-European language with a documented history of some 3,000 years. Ancient Greek in its various forms was the language both of classical Greek civilisation and of the origins of Christianity, and... Greek meso- (middle) - hopla (arms) - odon teeth, and may be translated as 'armed with a tooth in the centre of the jaw'.


The species

English name (most common first), Latin name, known distribution:

  • Andrew's Beaked Whale, Deep-crested Beaked Whale, M. bowdoini, unknown, possibly circumpolar on latitudes roughly level with For alternative meanings, see New Zealand (disambiguation). New Zealand is a country formed of two major islands and a number of Pacific Ocean. A common Māori name for New Zealand is Aotearoa, popularly translated as Land of the Long White Cloud. New Zealand also maintains responsibility for the... New Zealand
  • Bahamonde's Beaked Whale, M. bahamondi, unknown, one individual found off Chile
  • Blainville's Beaked Whale, Dense Beaked Whale, M. densirostris, circumpolar temperate waters
  • Gervais' Beaked Whale, Antillean Beaked Whale, Gulf Stream Beaked Whale, M. europaeus, temperate to tropical North The Atlantic Ocean is Earths second-largest ocean, covering approximately one-fifth of its surface. The oceans name, derived from Greek mythology, means the Sea of Atlas. This ocean occupies an elongated, S-shaped basin extending in a north-south direction and is divided into the North Atlantic... Atlantic Ocean, Central America and the Caribbean The Caribbean Sea is a body of water adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean, south of the Gulf of Mexico. It is bounded on the south by Venezuela, Colombia, and Panama, to the west by Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, and the Yucatan peninsula of... Caribbean Sea
  • Ginkgo-toothed Whale, Japanese Beaked Whale, M. ginkgodens, tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans
  • Gray's Beaked Whales, Haast's Beaked Whale, M. grayi, circumpolar temperate Southern Hemisphere.
  • Hector's Beaked Whale, New Zealand Beaked Whale, M. hectori, circumpolar cool-to-temperate The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earths surface that is south of the equator. It contains four continents (Africa, Australia, South America and Antarctica) separated by four oceans (South Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean and Antarctic Ocean). Summer occurs around December to February and winter around June to... Southern Hemisphere waters
  • Hubbs' Beaked Whale, M. carlhubbsi, temperate North Pacific
  • Layard's Beaked Whale, Long-toothed Beaked Whale, Strap-toothed Whale, M. layardii, circumpolar The Southern Ocean is the body of water encircling the continent of Antarctica. It is the worlds fourth-largest body of water, and the latest to be defined as an Ocean, having been accepted by a decision of the International Hydrographic Organization in 2000, though the term has long... Southern Ocean
  • Perrin's Beaked Whale, M. perrini, eastern Pacific
  • Pygmy Beaked Whale, Peruvian Beaked Whale, Lesser Beaked Whale, M. peruvianus, off west coast of South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. South America is situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. It became attached to North America only recently, geologically speaking, with the formation of the Isthmus of Panama... South America
  • Sowerby's Beaked Whale, North Atlantic Beaked Whale, M. bidens, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Stejneger's Beaked Whale, Bering Sea Beaked Whale, M. stejnegeri, Cool to sub-Arctic Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea
  • True's Beaked Whale, M. mirus, North Atlantic Ocean, possibly southern The Indian Ocean is the third-largest body of water in the world, covering about 20% of the Earths water surface. It is bounded on the north by southern Asia (the Indian subcontinent); on the west by the Arabian Peninsula and Africa; on the east by the Malay Peninsula... Indian Ocean
  • Unidentified Beaked Whale, M. sp. 'A' , known only from sightings in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean

Longman's Beaked Whale (also known as the Binomial name Indopacetus pacificus Longmans Beaked Whale range Longmans Beaked Whale, commonly also called the Indo-Pacific Beaked Whale either has the specific name Indopacetus pacificus or Mesoplodon pacificus, depending whether the animal is classified as a mesoplodont whale or not. If the latter then it is one... Indo-Pacific Beaked Whale) is also sometimes classed in the Mesoplodon genus. However most authorities follow the lead of Joesph Curtis Moore who in the 1960s put it in its own genus - the Binomial name Indopacetus pacificus Longmans Beaked Whale range Longmans Beaked Whale, commonly also called the Indo-Pacific Beaked Whale either has the specific name Indopacetus pacificus or Mesoplodon pacificus, depending whether the animal is classified as a mesoplodont whale or not. If the latter then it is one... Indopacetus.


Physical description and behaviour

Physical data is scant for almost all species on account of the fact that mesoplodons all live far out to sea. For instance it is not known whether females are larger than males. From beached individuals we know that the whales are small, ranged from 4-6m in length and are typically about one 1000-1500kg in weight.


Species typically have a small triangular Dorsal Fin of the Orca A dorsal fin is a fin located on the backs of fishes, whales, dolphins and porpoises. Its main purpose is to stabilise the animal against rolling and assist in sudden turns. Some animals have developed dorsal fins with protective functions, such as spines or venom... dorsal fin about two-thirds to three-quarters along the back.


Virtually nothing is known about mesoplodon behaviour as so few have been seen alive. Further their range of behaviours at the surface appears limited to slow swimming. There is usually no surface blow and there have been no reports of a mesoplodon fluking (raising their tail fluke clear of the water on diving).


Longeveity, lactation and gestation data is non-existent.


Conservation

The mesoplodon species populations are unknown and consequently the species are generally omitted from Red Data Species lists. The main threat from humans is the accidental capture in drift nets.


 
 

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