Gervais' beaked whale (Mesoplodon europaeus)
|Researched by||Morvan Barnes||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandOne specimen was found in the English Channel and one off County Sligo in Ireland, but possibly due to identification difficulties its distribution is poorly known.
HabitatGervais' beaked whale is an oceanic and coastal species that may be seen at the surface but little is known on what depth they may dive to.
- Up to 5.5 m in length.
- Small dorsal fin two-thirds down the body.
- Distinct, relatively long beak.
- Small head with shallow rising forehead with a small bump.
- Pair of V-shaped throat grooves.
- Mouthline curved down at the rear.
- No teeth at front of the mouth.
Additional informationGervais' beaked whale may be confused with True's beaked whale Mesoplodon mirus but it has conspicuously smaller flippers. Gervais' beaked whales are usually found either alone or in small groups. Very little is known about their behaviour and dive duration due to the relative lack of sightings (Kinze, 2002).
Bruyns, W.F.J.M., 1971. Field guide of whales and dolphins. Amsterdam: Publishing Company Tors.
Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]
Jefferson, T.A., Leatherwood, S. & Webber, M.A., 1994. FAO species identification guide. Marine mammals of the world. Rome: United Nations Environment Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Kinze, C. C., 2002. Photographic Guide to the Marine Mammals of the North Atlantic. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Moore, J.C. & Wood, F.D., 1957. Differences between the beaked whales Mesoplodon mirus and Mesoplodon gervaisi. American Museum Novitates, 1831, 1-25
Norman, S.A. & Mead, J.G. 2001. Mammalian Species, No. 688, Mesoplodon europaeus. Mammalian Species Accounts. American Society of Mammalogists.
Reid. J.B., Evans. P.G.H., Northridge. S.P. (ed.), 2003. Atlas of Cetacean Distribution in North-west European Waters. Peterborough: Joint Nature Conservation Committee.
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Last Updated: 02/06/2008