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Ziphius cavirostris

Cuvier's Beaked Whale

Order: Cetacea
Family: Ziphiidae

Image of Ziphius cavirostris
Ziphius cavirostris - male, upper; female,lower; fluke during dive, inset
Click to enlarge. (57 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Cuvier's beaked whales are rarely seen, because they stay in deep water and tend to avoid boats. They are known to live in every ocean, except near the North and South Poles, and most seas. They are robust animals with small dorsal fins and small, narrow flippers. Males have a pair of small, sharp teeth that erupt from the tip of the lower jaw, and usually have white scars on their bodies from fighting with other males. They swim in pods of up to about seven individuals, and feed primarily on deep-water squids.


Also known as:
Goose-beaked Whale

Range: 5.1-6.9 m

Average: 2,500 kg


Cuvier, G., 1823.  Recherches sur les ossements fossiles, G. Dufour et E. d'Ocagne, Paris. 5(1):350.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Ziphius cavirostris

Skull of Ziphius cavirostris
Click to enlarge. (41kb)