Monday, July 30, 2007

Gervais' beaked whale fact sheet

Gervais’ beaked whales have only been identified a handful of times at sea because they are not often seen on the surface and they are difficult to distinguish from other beaked whale species. They are very similar in appearance to True’s beaked whales, so individuals can often only be confirmed by close examination of stranded individuals. Little is known about their behaviour, but they are thought to form groups of just a few individuals. Like other beaked whales they feed on fish and squid and spend only an estimated 8% of their time on the surface. They are thought to be able to dive to at least 1,500 meters deep.

Based on stranding data, Gervais’ beaked whales are thought to inhabit tropical to subtropical waters of the Atlantic. Sightings in the Azores are very rare and can usually never be confirmed due to the difficulty in identifying this species.

• Male: 4.6 m
• Female: 5.2 m
• Calf: 2.1 m

• Female: 1,200 kg
• Calf: 50 kg

Global population: Unknown (population trend unknown)

Status: Data Deficient

Diet: Squid, small fish, shrimp

Teeth: 2 in the lower jaw (only males)

Longevity: 30 years

Breeding age: Unknown

Gestation: Unknown

Nursing: Unknown

In other languages
Portuguese: Baleia-de-bico-de-Gervais
Spanish: Zifio de Gervais, zifio europeo
French: Baleine à bec de Gervais 
Italian: Mesoplodonte di Gervais 
German: Gervais-Zweizahnwal
Dutch: Spitssnuitdolfijn van Gervais 
Swedish: Gervais näbbval, Antillernas näbbval, Golfströmmens näbbval
Norwegian: -
Danish: Gervais' næbhvalen
Finnish: -
Polish Wal europejski

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