Mesoplodon bowdoini Andrews,
English: Andrews' beaked whale
Spanish: Zifio de Andrews, ballena picuda de Andrews
French: Mésoplodon de Andrews
Mesoplodon bowdoini © Wurtz-Artescienza
Adult males are black to dark blue all over, except for the tip
of the rostrum and the lower jaw, which are white. The two teeth
located in the lower jaw are set in raised sockets at about the
middle of the beak in the flesh; these erupt only in males. Body
scarring indicates fighting between males. A relatively small mesoplodont,
body length reaches at least 4.38 m, and one female was estimated
to measure 4.87m (Baker, 2001). The species resembles Blainville's
beaked whale, but as opposed to this species, the lower jaw arch
is white, less massive and wider (Jefferson et al. 2008). The length
at birth is estimated at about 2.20 m (Reidenberg and Laitman, 2009).
M. bowdoini is known only from 35 specimens and has a southern,
circumpolar distribution north of the Antarctic convergence, between
32°S and 54°30'S (Baker, 2001; Van Waerebeek et al., 2004).
Most of these have come from the South Pacific and Indian oceans
(well over half are from New Zealand - Mead 1989; Baker 2001). Strandings
have occurred in southern Australia, New Zealand, Tristan de Cunha,
the Falkland Islands, Macquarie Island, Argentina and Uruguay. A
presumed specimen from Tasmania was re-identified as M. grayi (Baker,
2001; Van Waerebeek et al., 2004). The overall range may be circumpolar
in the Southern Hemisphere; however, there is a gap in the known
distribution between the Chatham Islands, east of New Zealand and
the west coast of South America (Taylor et al. 2009).
Distribution of Mesoplodon bowdoini (Taylor
et al. 2008; © IUCN; enlarge
map). The species
seems to prefer the cool temperate circumpolar waters of the Southern
Hemisphere (Jefferson et al. 2008).
3. Population size
4. Biology and Behaviour
Almost nothing is known about the behaviour of M. bowdoini. Lack
of sightings in the wild suggests that Andrew's beaked whales are
unobtrusive or live away from well-studied areas and possibly both.
Their close relationship with Hubbs' beaked whale suggests the two
species may have similar behaviour patterns. They are probably extremely
difficult to identify at sea, and even stranded animals have been
misidentified in the past. The occurrence of fetuses of M. bowdoini
in May and September, and perinatal juveniles in May and June, indicates
a summer-autumn breeding season in the New Zealand region (Carwardine,
Andrews' beaked whales are assumed to feed primarily on cephalopods,
like other members of the genus (Baker 2001). Based on the concentration
of stranding records, the waters around New Zealand may represent
an area of concentration for the species (Baker, 2001).
Range states: Argentina; Australia; Falkland Islands (Malvinas);
New Zealand; Saint Helena (United Kingdom); Uruguay (Taylor et al.
The species is categorised as "Data Deficient" by the
IUCN. M. bowdoini is not listed by CMS. The species is listed in
Appendix II of CITES.
Mesoplodon - Beaked whales: Introduction and Sources"
© Boris Culik (2010) Odontocetes.
The toothed whales: "Mesoplodon bowdoini". UNEP/CMS
Secretariat, Bonn, Germany. http://www.cms.int/reports/small_cetaceans/index.htm
© Illustrations by Maurizio Würtz, Artescienza.
© Maps by IUCN.