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

  Cetacea · Ziphiidae · Mesoplodon bidens
   Smithsonian Institution
   Copyright Notice
   Privacy Notice
Mesoplodon bidens

Sowerby's Beaked Whale

Order: Cetacea
Family: Ziphiidae

Click to see adaptations.   
Image of Mesoplodon bidens
Click to enlarge. (54 kb)

Conservation Status: Data Deficient.

Most stranded Sowerby's beaked whales have been found on the coast of the British Isles, and the North Sea may be the center of the species' distribution. We know very little about this whale, including what it eats and details of its growth, reproduction, and social organization. Adults are slightly more than 5 m in length and have bluish-gray or slate gray backs; calves are reported to be about 2.4 m long at birth. Stranded whales have been heard making cow-like vocalizations. At sea, this whale can be identified by its long snout. Adult males have distinctive, tall teeth that slant out and up from the sides of the jaw about a third of the way back from the front end of the mouth.

Also known as:
North Sea Beaked Whale, Dauphin de Dale, Dauphin de Havre

Range: 5.5 m males; 5.1 m females


True, F.W., 1913.  Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, 60(25):1.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Mesoplodon bidens

Skull of Mesoplodon bidens
Click to enlarge. (13kb)