Arnouxs Beaked Whale
Name : Arnoux's Beaked Whale
Scientific Name : Berardius arnuxii
Class : Mammalia
Family : Ziphidae
Order : Cetacea (suborder) - Odontoceti
Shape : Bulbous melon and a spindle-shaped body. Pronounced, dolphin-like beak with front teeth visible when mouth closed. Extensively scarred body with broad, flat back. Jaw contains second, concealed pair of teeth, which erupt late in life.
Fins : Short, broad flippers almost parallel trailing and leading edges. Triangular or falcate dorsal fin with rounded tips and is very small in relation to body size.
Length : Adults measure between 7.8 - 9.7 metres and newborns 4.5 metres.
Weight : Adults weigh between 7 - 10 tons.
Colour : Although dark in colour, the body may appear pale brown or even orange at sea; this is caused by a covering of microscopic algae, called diatoms, over the body. Pale grey or white cloudy patches on underside, with heavy white scarring, especially on upper side (juveniles less scarred).
Diet : Small fishes and octopus.
Population : Most reported strandings have been around New Zealand and it seems to be relatively abundant in Cook Strait, especially during spring and summer.
Migration : Known to enter pack-ice and may live very close to the ice edge in summer, but likely to move away during winter.
Habits : Normally elusive. Cruises slowly at the surface, blow is low, bushy, and diffuse. Small groups 6 - 10 or 1 - 80 stay close together, surfacing and blowing in unison. Beak may appear first when surfacing.
Distribution : Main concentrations of sightings known from South Georgia, in the South Atlantic Ocean and South Africa. Tends to occur near deep escarpments, seamounts and other areas with steep-bottomed slopes.
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