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Deraniyagala’s Beaked Whale

See all species Deraniyagala’s beaked whale has never been seen, let alone studied, alive in the ocean. This entire whale species is known from only seven dead whales that have stranded on remote tropical islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans over the past 50 years. A Sri Lankan scientist named Mr Deraniyagala’s first named…

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Sowerby’s beaked whale

See all species Sowerby’s beaked whale was the first of the beaked whales to be discovered after a stranding in the Moray Firth in 1800. Other names: North Sea beaked whale, North Atlantic beaked whale Male Female Calf Maximum length 5.5m 5.1m 2.4m Maximum weight 1,300kg 1,300kg Unknown IUCN conservation status: Data Deficient What do…

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Shepherd’s beaked whale

Shepherd's beaked whale

See all species The Shepherd’s beaked whale is the only species of beaked whale to have a full set of functional teeth in both jaws and the adult male has a larger pair of tusks that ‘erupt’ at the tip of the lower jaw. The external appearance of Shepherd’s beaked whales was only described in…

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Pygmy beaked whale

See all species The pygmy beaked whale was only classified as a distinct species in 1991. Other names: Peruvian beaked whale, Lesser beaked whale Male Female Calf Maximum length 3.7m 3.7m 1.6m Maximum weight Unknown Unknown Unknown IUCN conservation status: Data Deficient What do Pygmy beaked whales look like? The pygmy beaked whale has a…

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Perrin’s beaked whale

See all species Based on just five individuals that stranded along the coast of California between 1975 and 1997, Perrin’s beaked whale was only recognised as a species a few years ago. Male Female Calf Maximum length 3.9m 4.4m Unknown Maximum weight Unknown Unknown Unknown IUCN conservation status: Data Deficient What do Perrin’s beaked whales…

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Stejneger’s beaked whale

See all species Stejneger’s beaked whale is thought to be the only species of Mesoplodon common in Alaskan waters. The majority of information that is known about the species biology and life history is a result of strandings (which appear to peak in both the winter and spring months), primarily off the west coast of…

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Spade-toothed beaked whale

See all species The spade-toothed beaked whale has the distinction of possibly being the least known of all the world’s whales! It is described only from skeletal remains consisting of two skulls and one jawbone. It has never been seen in the wild. Other names: Traver’s beaked whale, Bahamondi’s beaked whale, Spade-toothed whale Male Female…

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Indo-pacific beaked whale

See all species Up until only a few years ago, this whale could have taken the title of ‘least known whale’ with all available information coming from only two skulls. However it seems as if individuals of this species have been mistakenly identified as belonging to bottlenose whales! Other names: Longman’s beaked whale Male Female…

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Strap-toothed beaked whale

Strap-toothed beaked whale

See all species Although rarely seen, the male strap-toothed whale is one of the few beaked whales that can be accurately identified at sea. The adult has two large tusks that grow up and over the upper jaw, making it impossible for them to open their mouth more than a few inches. Other names: Layard’s…

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True’s beaked whale

True's beaked whale

See all species Given that True’s beaked whales are found in two geographically distinct areas, it is thought that there might actually be two different species or sub-species of this beaked whale. Like other beaked whales True’s beaked whales have a ‘flipper pocket’, a small depression on each side of their body thought to assist…

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