Grays Beaked Whale

Grey's Beaked Whale Cascadia Research Collective

Name : Gray's Beaked Whale
Scientific Name : Mesoplodon grayi
Class : Mammalia (Type) - Beaked whale
Family : Ziphiidae
Order : Cetacea (suborder) - Odontoceti
Shape : Small head with flat forehead with indentation at blowhole. Fairly straight mouthline with long white slender beak. The male has 2 fairly small, triangular teeth, which are set back from the tip of the beak and are visible when the mouth is closed.
Fins : Short wide flippers with sharp ridges between the dorsal fin and flukes. Hooked fin with no notch in flukes.
Length : Adults measure between 4.5 - 5.6 metres and newborns between 2 - 2.4 metres.
Weight : Adults weigh between 1 - 1.6 tons.
Colour : Dark bluish-grey, brownish-grey, or black upper side, with white or yellowish spots on underside and sides. Pale grey or white underside with long scars on body. White beak, front of forehead and throat (variable).
Diet : Octopus.
Habits : Typically pokes white beak out of water as it surfaces to blow. Has been seen breaching at a shallow angle, lifting entire body as far as flukes out of the water. Group size varies between 2 - 6 or 1 - 10. 28 stranded together on a single occasion.

Whale Watching South Africa : Whale Trail Hermanus, Cape Whale Coast, Garden Route
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