Hectors Beaked Whale
Whale Watching South Africa

© © Nick Gales

Name : Hector's Beaked Whale
Scientific Name : Mesoplodon hectori
Class : Mammalia (Type) - Beaked whale
Family : Ziphiidae
Order : Cetacea (suborder) - Odontoceti
Shape : The Hectors Beaked Whale has a smallish head, slight melon with distinctive crescent-shaped blowhole. Small, triangular teeth set near tip of jaw may have stalked barnacles attached (which only erupt in males) may be distinctive. Relatively short, pale grey or white beak. Spindle-shaped body covered in scratches and sometimes oval scars, especially in males.
Fins : Small, triangular dorsal fin with rounded tips, short flippers with parallel trailing and leading edges. Flukes has no notch in adults (young animals have slight notch), with grey upper sides; and white undersides in males only.
Length : Adults measure between 4 - 4.5 metres and newborns 2 metres.
Weight : Adults weigh between 1 - 2 tons.
Colour : Dark grey or brownish-grey back and upper sides with white area often surrounds nave. Pale grey or white undersides.
Diet : Octopus.
Habits : Pairs may be the typical group size. Body scarring suggests there may be extensive fighting between males.
Distribution : Most records are from New Zealand, but there are also reports from Falkland Sound, Falklands Islands; Lottering River, South Africa; Adventure Bay, Tasmania; and Tierra del Fuego, in southern South America.

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