Mesoplodon carlhubbsi Moore, 1963

English: Hubbs' beaked whale
German: Hubbs-Zweizahnwal
Spanish: Zifio de Hubbs, ballena picuda de Hubbs
French: Mésoplodon de Hubbs, baleine à bec de Hubbs

Family Ziphiidae

Mesoplodon carlhubbsi © Wurtz-Artescienza (see links).

1. Description

Adult females and the young are medium grey which fades through lighter grey to white on the flanks and undersides. Males are dark grey to black, save for a white region from the rostrum's tip and lower jaw to the back of the teeth, and another around the blow
hole and over the melon. The beak is fairly short with a strong arch to the lower jaw in adult males. Two prominent teeth erupt in the middle of the lower jaw, but remain concealed in females. The skin may have many scratches from other males' teeth. Both the longest male and the longest female specimens measured 5.3m. The body mass may attain over 1500 kg (Moore, 1963; Mead et al., 1982; Jefferson et al. 2008). back to the top of the page

2. Distribution

Hubbs' beaked whale is found in temperate waters of the North Pacific. In the west it has been recorded from the northeastern coast of Honshu; in the east it is found from Prince Rupert in British Columbia south to San Diego in California (Rice, 1998). According to Houston (1990b) it is known from only 31 stranded specimens and one possible live sighting. Most strandings have been along the North American coast from Prince Rupert, British Columbia to La Jolla, California. Four strandings are recorded from Ayukawa, Japan.

Distribution of Mesoplodon carlhubbsi (Taylor et al. 2008; © IUCN; enlarge map). Hubbs'
beaked whale is found in the oceanic temperate North Pacific from California to
Japan (Pitman, 2002).
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3. Population size

Unknown.back to the top of the page

4. Biology and Behaviour

Hubbs' beaked whales feed on squid (including the genera Gonatus, Onychoteuthis, Octopoteuthis, Histioteuthis, and Mastigoteuthis) and some deepwater fishes (Mead et al. 1982).back to the top of the page

5. Migration

Unknown.back to the top of the page

6. Threats

Houston (1990b) assumed that the species is not known to have been, or to be, of interest to commercial fisheries and was probably protected by its rarity and occurrence in less frequented (by man) waters of the North Pacific. As opposed to this, Jefferson et al. (1993, 2008) report that some Hubb's beaked whales have been taken by harpoon off Japan. Whale meat products from this species are occasionally found for sale on the Japanese market (Baker et al. 2008). Incidental catches in drift gillnets occur sporadically off the coast of California (Jefferson et al. 2008, Taylor et al. 2008)..back to the top of the page

7. Remarks

Range states: Canada, USA, Japan (Taylor et al. 2008).

Hubbs' beaked whale is categorised as "Data Deficient" by IUCN and is not listed by CMS. Listed in Appendix II of CITES.
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8. Sources

see "Genus Mesoplodon - Beaked whales: Introduction and Sources"

© Boris Culik (2010) Odontocetes. The toothed whales: "Mesoplodon carlhubbsi". UNEP/CMS Secretariat, Bonn, Germany.
© Illustrations by Maurizio Würtz, Artescienza.
© Maps by IUCN

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