Beaked Whale

  • Irish name: Míol mor socach Cuvier
  • Latin name: Ziphius cavirostris
  • Size: 5.5 - 7m
  • Diet: Squid, crustaceans and deep-water fish

A robust whale with an almost conical shaped head, broad body and a compactly curved dorsal fin. A pair of pointed teeth are present at the tip of the lower jaw in males. Colouration can vary greatly from light brown to dark grey. Males can be extensively scarred along the body, particularly around the head from wounds inflicted by competing males of same species.


Breaching may occur while resting at the surface. They perform the deepest known dives of any cetacean, with a record of almost 3,000 m during a 137 minute dive.


24 dead Cuvier’s beaked whales were recorded washed up along our Atlantic coast during an unprecedented UME (Unusual Mortality Event) between August – September 2018 when 1 – 2 individuals would be typical in any given year, prompting an ongoing investigation.

Downloadable Detailed Species Information


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