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Mesoplodon europaeus

Gervais's Beaked Whale

Order: Cetacea
Family: Ziphiidae

Image of Mesoplodon europaeus
Click to enlarge. (52 kb)

Conservation Status: Data Deficient.

More than 50 Gervais’s beaked whales have been found stranded along the coast of the United States. The holotype of this species - the individual that was identified as a separate species, and named - was found floating in the English Channel in about 1840, and the name "europeaus" was applied, but since then, only one more has been reported from European waters. The whales apparently live in deep tropical to warm temperate waters of the Atlantic Ocean. They have dark gray backs and paler gray bellies; juveniles' bellies are white. As with other species in this genus, not much is known about them. Six whales have been weighed, and the weights ranged from 49 kg for a 1.62 m-long calf to 1,178 kg for a female that was 3.71 m in length.

Also known as:
Gulf Stream Beaked Whale, Antillean Beaked Whale, European Beaked Whale

Sexual Dimorphism:
Females are thought to be larger than males.

Range: up to 4.6 m males; up to 5.2 m females

Range: 1,178 kg female


Gervais, 1855.  Histoire Naturelle des Mammifères, 2:320.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Mesoplodon europaeus