Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mystic creatures

Blainville's beaked whale

The whale god was with us yesterday. He both allowed a trip to the sea before the wind got up and he gave us whales. Not the easy kind to observe, but beaked whales of the genus Mesoplodon, “the mysteries of the sea” as very little is known about these "shy" creatures. They have been recorded to dive to more than 1500m and they are thought to be very sensitive to sounds pollution (one of the explanation of why beaked whales might end their lives upon beaches). We were in the middle of taking photos of a group of bottlenose dolphins when the vigia (lookout) called out the good news on the radio. I hardly dared getting excited as beaked whales might mean that we just get to try to see them. Anyhow, half an hour later three of them surfaced in the area and gave us the time to watch them take some four breaths before they disappeared again and then a little bit later two other animals (an adult and a juvenile) surfaced and gave us a few more minutes of observation. In all enough for us to see that they were Mesoplodon but not enough to distinguish what specie (i.e. unsure if we had M.bidens, M.europaeus or M.mirus). By then the wind was getting up and we headed back towards land. Saturday will be a day on land and by Sunday we hope to be out there again.

1 comment:

Andréas Guyot. said...

I think you made a misidentification is a "ziphius cavirostris", the dorsal fin is not that of "Mesoplodon densirortris".

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