Southern Bottlenose Whale
Whale Watching South Africa

Name : Southern Bottlenose Whale
Scientific Name : Hyperoodon planifrons
Class : Mammalia (Type) - Beaked whale
Family : Ziphiidae
Order : Cetacea (suborder) - Odontoceti
Shape : The Southern Bottlenose Whale has an extremely bulbous forehead, which is more pronounced in older animals and most distinct in adult males, in old males, the front of the forehead is almost vertical and flat. Two teeth which remain beneath the gums in females but erupt in males. However, some males may have 4 teeth or none at all. Both sexes may have vestigial, toothpick-like teeth in both jaws. Robust, cylindrical body shape.
Fins : Dorsal fin slightly falcate or triangular in shape. Broad flukes with concave trailing edges with no notch in flukes.
Length : Adults measure between 6 - 7.5 metres and the newborns between 2.9 - 3.5 metres.
Weight : Adults weigh between 6 - 9 tons.
Colour : Young animals are darker than adults. Colour varies from bluish-black, bluish- grey, mid-brown and dull yellow. Mottled, creamy brown or greyish white underside, with body frequently covered in scratches and scars.
Diet : It feeds predominantly on squid and krill.
Habits : Flukes may be lifted above surface before deep dive. Can stay underwater for at least an hour. Group size between 1 - 25, but fewer than 10 more common in Antarctic.
Distribution : Rarely found in water less than 200 metres deep. In summer, most frequently seen within about 100 km of the Antarctic ice edge, where it appears to be relatively common.

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