Dalebout, Mead, Baker, Baker and van
English: Perrin's beaked whale
Spanish: Zifio de Perrin, ballena picuda de Perrin
French: Mésoplodon de Perrin, baleine à bec de Perrin
Mesoplodon perrini © Wurtz-Artescienza (see links).
The beak is shorter than in other mesoplodonts and the two tusks
erupt in males just behind the tip of the lower jaw. The mouthline
is relatively straight. Apparently counter-shaded with a dark-grey
back and a whitish belly. Adult males have a white patch around
the umbilicus and dark grey mask joining the eyes dorsally. Externally
very similar to Hector's beaked whale, with which it was confused
until its description in 2002 (Dalebout et al., 2002; Jefferson
et al., 2008).
Dalebout et al. (2002) describe M. perrini on the basis
of five animals stranded on the coast of California (between 33°55'N,
117°15'W and 36°37'N, 121°55'W) from May, 1975 to September,
1997. Four of these animals were initially identified as Hector's
beaked whales (M.
hectori) based on cranial morphology (Mead, 1989). A fifth
specimen was initially identified as a neonate Cuvier's beaked whale
cavirostris) based on external features.
Possible distribution of Mesoplodon perrini
(Taylor et al. 2008; © IUCN; enlarge
map). All known specimens stem from the central and southern
Californian coast (Jefferson et al. 2008).
These specimens were first recognised as representatives
of an undescribed species through phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial
DNA control region and cytochrome b sequence data. Although similar
morphologically, the genetic data do not support a close evolutionary
relationship between M. perrini and M. hectori. Instead,
these data suggest a possible sister-species relationship with the
lesser beaked whale M.
peruvianus (Dalebout et al. 2002).
Dalebout et al. (2002) suggest that M. hectori is confined to the
Southern Hemisphere, while M. perrini is known to date only
from the North Pacific.
3. Population size
4. Biology and Behaviour
Based on a limited sample of stomach contents, Perrin's beaked
whale probably feeds mainly on squids (including Octopoteuthis sp.).
The remains of an unidentified invertebrate have been found in the
stomach of an animal stranded in California (Taylor et al. 2008).
Range states: USA and possibly Mexico (Taylor et al. 2008).
Categorised as "Data Deficient" by IUCN and is not listed
by CMS. The species is listed in Appendix II of CITES.
8. Sources and further information
Mesoplodon - Beaked whales: Introduction and Sources"
© Boris Culik (2010) Odontocetes.
The toothed whales: "Mesoplodon perrini". UNEP/CMS
Secretariat, Bonn, Germany.http://www.cms.int/small-cetaceans
© Illustrations by Maurizio Würtz, Artescienza.
© Maps by IUCN.