Berardius arnuxii Duvernoy,
English: Arnoux´s beaked whale
German: Südlicher Schwarzwal
Spanish: Ballenato de Arnoux, ballena picuda de Arnoux
French: Béradien d'Arnoux, baleine à bec d'Arnoux
Berardius arnuxii © Wurtz-Artescienza (see "links")
The entire body is dark brown but the ventral side is paler and
has irregular white patches. Tooth marks of conspecifics are numerous
on the back, particularly on adult males. This being one of the
largest beaked whales, adult size reaches from 8.5-9.75 m. The blowhole
is crescent-shaped, the melon is small and has an almost vertical
frontal surface, from which a slender rostrum projects (Kasuya,
2002, 2009). Two pairs of triangular teeth are present at and near
the tip of the lower jaw and erupt in both sexes (Jefferson et al.
Arnoux's beaked whales are found circumpolar in the southern hemisphere
from the Antarctic continent and ice edge (78°S) north to about
34°S in the southern Pacific including south eastern Australia
(29°S) and northern New Zealand (37°S), southern Atlantic
to São Paulo (24°S), and Indian Ocean; but nowhere within
this range are they very well known or considered common. Most of
the reported sightings are from the Tasman sea and around the Albatross
Cordillera in the South Pacific. The overwhelming majority of strandings
have been around New Zealand (Balcomb, 1989 and refs. therein; (Jefferson
et al. 1993; Rice, 1998); Baker, 1999). The species name has frequently
been misspelled arnouxi or arnuxi.
Distribution of Berardius
arnuxii: Waters around the Antarctic reaching northward to the
shores of the Southern Hemisphere continents (mod. from Jefferson
et al. 2008; Taylor et al. 2008; © IUCN.
here for large map)
The most northerly records are strandings, one from
the coast of São Paulo state, Brazil (Martuscelli et al.
1995, 1996), the mouth of Rio de la Plata, Argentina, from the Kromme
River Mouth, South Africa and from New South Wales, Australia (Paterson
and Parker, 1994).
3. Population size
They are apparently not as numerous as the northern form. Arnoux's
beaked whales are usually very 'shy' creatures. Like their northern
congeners, they are capable of diving for an hour or more, hence
are difficult to observe and positively identify. Indeed, in the
Southern Hemisphere, the species could be confused with H. planifrons
or T. shepherdi (Balcomb, 1989).
Arnoux's beaked whales seem to be relatively abundant in Cook Strait
during summer (Carwardine, 1995). Sightings of large numbers have
been reported along the western Antarctic coastal sector during
the austral spring (Ponganis et al. 1995), similar to observations
by Rogers and Brown (1999) for the eastern Antarctic sector. However,
a more recent survey by Blume et al. (2006) failed to detect any
B. arnuxii between February and April 2006 in the Amundsen
and Bellingshausen Seas of the Western Antarctic. There are no detailed
counts available (Barlow et al. 2006, Kasuya, 2009).
4. Biology and Behaviour
Little is known about the life history of Arnoux's
beaked whale, but it is presumably similar to that of Baird's beaked
whale (Balcomb, 1989).
Habitat: This species generally occurs in deep, cold temperate
and subpolar waters, especially in areas with steep-bottomed slopes
beyond the continental shelf edge (Kasuya 2002). Sightings have
also been associated with shallow regions, coastal waters, continental
slopes or sea-mounts (Rogers and Brown, 1999 and refs. therein)
and other areas with steep-bottomed slopes (Carwardine, 1995).
Behaviour: Hobson and Martin (1996) observed groups of Arnoux´s
beaked whales near the Antarctic Peninsula and found that their
breath-hold characteristics confirm B. arnuxii as one of the most
accomplished mammalian divers, capable of swimming up to an estimated
7 km between breathing sites in sea ice. Whales moved to and from
the observed lead, apparently able to find other breathing sites
in what appeared to be unbroken ice. The species seems well adapted
to life in ice-covered waters and may be able to exploit food resources
inaccessible to other predators in the region.
Schooling: Arnoux's beaked whales are gregarious, often
gathering in groups of 6-10 and occasionally up to 50 or more. A
group of approximately 80 of these whales was observed in Robertson
Bay, Antarctica in February 1986 by Balcomb (1989). It was closely
followed for several hours, after which time it split up into subgroups
of 8-15 animals which dispersed throughout the bay among windrows
of loose pack ice. While near the surface, the whales frequently
changed direction as they swam at about 7 km/h before diving deeply
out of sight for long periods. Water depths in the locality of the
whales in Robertson Bay ranged from 250 - 550 meters, and the sea
surface temperature was -0.8°C. Arnoux's beaked whales have
been reported trapped in the ice, which may contribute to natural
Food. The feeding habits of Arnoux's beaked whales are assumed
to be similar to those of their Northern Hemisphere relative, the
Baird's beaked whale, thus consisting of benthic and pelagic fish
and cephalopods (Jefferson et al. 1993, Kasuya 2009).
Arnoux's beaked whales are known to enter pack ice and may live
very close to the ice edge in summer, but are likely to move away
in winter (Carwardine, 1995). However, while they occur both north
and south of the Antarctic Polar Front, there is no information
available on seasonal shifts (Van Waerebeek et al., 2004).
There has not been any substantial commercial hunting of this species,
but some have been taken for scientific study (Jefferson et al.
1993; Kasuya, 2009).
Known and inferred Range states:
Antarctica; Argentina; Australia (South Australia, Tasmania); Brazil
(São Paulo); Chile; Falkland Islands (Malvinas); Heard Island
and McDonald Islands; New Zealand (Chatham Is.); South Africa (Eastern
Cape Province, Western Cape Province); South Georgia; South Sandwich
Islands; Uruguay (Taylor, 2008).
Very little is known about this species, and it has been classified
as "Data Deficient" by the IUCN (Taylor et al. 2008).
It is listed in Appendix II of CITES. The species has not been listed
by the CMS (see: "selected
B. arnuxii also occurs in southern South America, therefore
the recommendations iterated by the scientific committee of CMS
for small cetaceans in that area (Hucke-Gaete, 2000) also apply
· Baker AN (1999) Whales and Dolphins of New Zealand and
Australia: an identification guide. Wellington, Victoria University
· Balcomb KC (1989) Baird's Beaked Whales - Berardius bairdii
Stejneger, 1883; Arnoux Beaked Whale - Berardius arnuxii
Duvernoy, 1851. In: Handbook of Marine Mammals (Ridgway SH, Harrison
SR eds.) Vol. 4: River Dolphins and the Larger Toothed Whales. Academic
Press, London, pp. 261-288.
· Barlow J, Ferguson MC, Perrin WF, Balance L, Gerrodette
T, Joyce G, Macleod CD, Mullin K, Palka DL, Waring G (2006) Abundance
and densities of beaked and bottlenose whales (family Ziphiidae).
J Cetacean Res Manage 7: 263-270
· Blume M, Schmiing M, Stahl J (2007) Monitoring of whales.
In "The Expedition ANT-XXIII/4 of the Research Vessel Polarstern
in 2006 ((K Gohl ed.). Rep Polar Mar Res, 557: 100 -103
· Carwardine M (1995) Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. Dorling
Kindersley, London, UK, 257 pp.
· Hobson RP, Martin AR (1996) Behaviour and dive times of
Arnoux's beaked whales, Berardius arnuxii, at narrow leads
in fast ice. Can J Zool 74(2): 388-393.
· Hucke-Gaete R (2000) Review of the conservation status
of small cetaceans in southern South America. UNEP/CMS Secretariat,
Bonn, German, 24 pp.
· Jefferson TA, Leatherwood S, Webber MA (1993) FAO Species
identification guide. Marine mammals of the world. UNEP/FAO, Rome,
· Jefferson TA, Webber MA Pitman RL (2008) Marine mammals
of the world. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 573 pp.
· Kasuya T (2002) Giant beaked whales. In: Encyclopedia of
marine mammals (Perrin WF, Würsig B, Thewissen JGM, eds.) Academic
Press, San Diego, 519-522.
· Kasuya T (2009) Giant beaked whales Berardius bardii
and B. arnuxii. In: Encyclopedia of marine mammals 2nd
Ed. (Perrin WF, Würsig B, Thewissen JGM, eds.) Academic Press,
· Martuscelli P, Olmos F, Silva RSE, Mazzarella IP, Pino
FV (1996) Cetaceans of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil. Mammalia
· Martuscelli P, Milanelo M, Olmos F (1995) First record
of Arnoux's beaked whale (Berardius arnuxi) and Southern
right-whale dolphin (Lissodelphis peronii) from Brazil. Mammalia
· Paterson RA, Parker AE (1994) Aerial observations of large
ziphid whales, possibly Berardius arnuxii, off the southern coast
of New South Wales. Mem Queensl Mus 37: 301-306.
· Ponganis PJ, Kooyman GL, Castellini MA (1995) Multiple
sightings of Arnoux's beaked whales along the Victoria Land Coast.
Mar Mamm Sci 11: 247-250
· Rice DW (1998) Marine mammals of the world: systematics
and distribution. Society for Marine Mammalogy, Special Publication
Number 4 (Wartzok D, ed.), Lawrence, KS. USA.
· Rogers TL, Brown SM (1999) Acoustic observations of Arnoux's
beaked whale (Berardius arnuxii) off Kemp Land, Antarctica.
Mar Mamm Sci 15: 192-198.
· Taylor BL, Baird R, Barlow J, Dawson SM, Ford J, Mead JG,
Notarbartolo di Sciara G, Wade P, Pitman RL (2008) Berardius
arnuxii. In: IUCN 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Version 2009.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>.
. Van Waerebeek K, Leaper R, Baker AN, Papastavrou V, Thiele D (2004)
Odontocetes of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary. Paper SC/56/SOS1 presented
to the IWC Scientific Committee, Sorrento, Italy. 35pp.
© Boris Culik (2010) Odontocetes.
The toothed whales: "Berardius arnuxii". UNEP/CMS
Secretariat, Bonn, Germany. http://www.cms.int/reports/small_cetaceans/index.htm
© Illustrations by Maurizio Würtz, Artescienza.
© Maps by IUCN