Blainville’s
Beaked Whale

  • Irish name: Míol mór socach Blainville
  • Latin name: Mesoplodon densirostris
  • Size: 4m
  • Diet: Squid and deep-water squid
DESCRIPTION:

A bulky whale with a diagnostically exaggerated “s-shaped” jawline where the lower jaw rises above the beak, which is very obvious in males where its paired teeth occur. The dorsal fin is tall and almost sickle like while the flippers are proportionately small. The colouration is largely brown on top and along the sides but its underside is coloured white. Older males may be extensively scarred from interactions with conspecific males.

BEHAVIOUR:

Deep dives are undertaken to 1,400 m which may take 20-50 minutes. They tend to travel in small social group.

IN IRELAND:

Only a single sighting record exists in Irish waters from May, 2016 near the Rockall Plateau where two beaked whales were identified as Blainville’s based on their observed jawline and colouration (Irish Naturalist Journal). To date IWDG has not validated any sighting or stranding records for this species.

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