Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
Search the Archive

  Cetacea · Ziphiidae · Berardius bairdii
  Smithsonian Institution
  Copyright Notice
  Privacy Notice
 
Berardius bairdii

Baird's Beaked Whale

Order: Cetacea
Family: Ziphiidae

Image of Berardius bairdii
Berardius bairdii - insets: diving in unison, blowing in unison
Click to enlarge. (45 kb)

Conservation Status: Data Deficient.


Baird’s beaked whale is the longest species of the Ziphiidae, which is a family of medium-sized whales. The name "beaked whale" comes from the way the long snout, or rostrum, tapers to a tip. From above, the rostrum looks like the neck of a bottle, and another common name for the species is giant bottlenose whale. Berardius has four teeth in the lower jaw. Two of the teeth project from the jaw and may be used for fighting: it is common for the skin of both males and females to be heavily covered in tooth-scars all over the body. The whales feed in deep water, diving for as long as an hour at a time to eat squid, octopus, skates, and other species that are found 2000 m below the surface. Fifty or more whales often travel together, occasionally breaching and slapping their flippers.

 

Also known as:
Far-eastern Bottlenose Whale, Giant Bottlenose Whale, Northern Four-footed Whale

Sexual Dimorphism:
Females are slightly larger than males.

Length:
Range: up to 11.9 m males; up to 12.8 m females

Weight:
Range: up to 14,200 kg

References:

Stejneger, 1883.  Proceedings of theU.S. National Museum, 6:75.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Berardius bairdii