Gervais' beaked whale

Gervais' beaked whale (Mesoplodon europaeus), sometimes known as the Antillian beaked whale, Gulf Stream beaked whale, or European beaked whale (from which its scientific name is derived) is the most frequently stranding type of mesoplodont whale off the coast of North America. It has also stranded off South America and Africa.

This species is the largest of the mesoplodonts and rather gracile, elongated, and laterally compressed compared with the others. The mouthline is remarkably straight, even in males, and the two teeth of the male erupt towards the tip of the beak, and are hardly noticeable. The head is overall small and tapering in outline. The melon only bulges very slightly. The coloration is dark gray on top and lighter gray on bottom. Females sometimes have lighter spots near the genitals and face, with a dark circle remaining around the eyes.images(external morphology, skull morphology, tooth morphology) Juveniles start off with a lighter coloration, but soon darken.

Gervais' beaked whale
  • Size

    Males are 4.5 meters (15 ft) in length and females are at least 5.2 meters (17 ft) and probably weigh more than 1200 kg (2600 pounds). Calves are believed to be 2.1 meters (7 feet) in length.

  • Feeding

    They probably feed on squid.

  • Life History

    One beached specimen may have been 48 years old.

  • Behavior

    Judging by strandings, the whales occur in small groups.