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Cuvierís Beaked Whale Ziphius cavirotris

Cuvierís beaked whale is a member of an unusual group of about 20 species of toothed or bottlenose whales. New species are being added to the list and the taxonomy of the group is uncertain. They have a beak shaped nose and most species have a only a pair of teeth that erupt in the lower jaw of males. It varies in color from slate grey to dark brown. Head and back of mature males are silvery grey. Fighting between males leave many tell-tale scars on the combatants. Cuvierís beaked whales travel in small pods of under 10 individuals. It is shy around boats and is an oceanic species. Little is known about its ecology or social organization. Cuvierís beaked whale inhabits the deep ocean outside the polar regions (Wilson and Ruff 1999). It makes long deep dives of three quarters to hour duration to depths as much as 1450 meters (Baird et al. 2005). 


Cuvierís Beaked Whale Facts

Length: 7 meters

Weight: 2500 kg

Food: squid

Newborn: 2 - 3 meters long

Social Status: Commonly found in groups of 2 - 7

Lifespan: 25 years



 Cuvierís Beaked Whale Distribution Map

Cuvierís Beaked Whale Distribution Map




Baird R.W., D. L. Webster, D. J. McSweeney, A. D. Ligon and G. S. Schorr 2005. Diving behaviour and ecology of Cuvierís (Ziphius cavirostris) and Blainvilleís beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) in Hawaii. Cascadia Research Report on line.


Connor, R.C., J. Mann, P. L. Tyack and H. Whitehead. 1998. Social evolution in toothed whales. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 13: 228-232.


Wilson, D. and S. Ruff. 1999. Smithsonian book of North American mammals. UBC Press, Vancouver.


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