Monday, July 30, 2007

Cuvier's beaked whale fact sheet

Cuvier’s beaked whales are the among the most widely distributed of all the beaked whales. As with other beaked whale species, they dive to great depths to feed on squid. In fact in a study conducted in 2014 they were recognised as the deepest diving animals in the world, with a record that exceeds that of the sperm whale which was the previous record holder. In the study a tag was attached to a Cuvier's beaked whale, which went down to a depth of 2,992 m. When diving the small flippers are tucked into the 'flipper pockets' and, like other beaked whales, there is no middle notch on the fluke. At the surface, they may be distinguished from other beaked whales by their relatively short beak and robust body. They prefer areas where the water is deep very close to shore, such as around the islands of the Azores. They are thought to be fairly common around here, but are not seen often because they are difficult to observe at the surface. This is normally the case for beaked whales that spend little time at the surface (as little as 8% of their life) and are very shy and elusive. Cuvier’s beaked whales may be seen alone or in small groups of about 2 – 7 individuals. Little is known about their social habits because as with other beaked whale species they are difficult to study in the wild.

• Male: 6.9 m
• Female: 5.5 m
• Calf:  2.7 m


 Male: 3,000 kg
• Calf:  250 – 270 kg

Global population: c.100,000 
(population trend unknown)

Status: Least Concern

Diet: Squid, fish, crustaceans

Teeth: 2 in the lower jaw (only males)

Longevity: 25 – 35 years

Breeding age: Unknown

Gestation: Unknown

Nursing: Unknown

In other languages
Portuguese: Baleia de bico de Cuvier, Zifio
Spanish: Zifio de Cuvier
French: Baleine de Cuvier
Italian: Zifio
German: Cuvier-Schnabelwal
Dutch: Dolfijn van Cuvier
Swedish: Småhuvudval, Cuviers näbbval
Norwegian: Gåsenebbhval 
Danish: Småhovedet hval
Finnish: Hanhennokkavalascuvierinvalas 
Polish: Wal Cuviera

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