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Stejneger’s Beaked Whale


Scientific Name:
Mesoplodon stejnegeri
Length:
5.7 m (18.7 ft)
Weight:
1,600 kg (3,530 lbs)
Status:
data deficient
Prey:
Squid (Gonatidae, Cranchiidae), fish

Physical characteristics

The coloration is dark gray-brown above and lighter below. The beak and the neck are usually paler and a dark cap extending from both eyes over the top of the head is characteristic. Adult males shoe two erupted teeth near the peak of the arched lower jaw. Young males and females do not have erupted teeth which makes them hard to classify at sea.

Behavioral characterization

Rather shy.

Distribution

Throughout the North Pacific, including California, the Aleutian Islands, southwest Bering Sea, Kamchatka, Okhotsk Sea, and the Sea of Japan. Strandings of this species have commonly occurred in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska and on the west coasts of Japan.

Population size

Unknown

Predators

Unknown

Migration/Dispersal patterns

A northward migration in summer is suggested due to shift in strandings.

Social system/Group size

Small groups sometimes travel abreast, almost touching one another, and may surface and submerge in unison. Sightings of small and large animals in the same groups suggest mixing of sexes and ages.

Major threats

Often entangled in gillnets in deeper water.

Research efforts

N/A

Fun fact

N/A