Gervais Beaked Whale

  • Irish name: Míol mór socach an tSrutha
  • Latin name: Mesoplodon europaeus
  • Size: 4.6 – 5.2m
  • Diet: Squid and deep-water fish
DESCRIPTION:

A sleek whale with a broad beak that blends into the head smoothly. Its dorsal fin is set two-thirds along the back and is triangular in shape to a curved point. Its flippers are small in proportion to the body but its distinguishing feature is the male’s pair of triangular teeth set ¾ of the way along the lower jaw. The colouration is light grey overall with a black patch around the eye and a white underside.

BEHAVIOUR:

Little is known about this species globally. They are believed to move in small groups like other beaked whale species, undertake deep foraging dives and breach occasionally.

IN IRELAND:

This species’ presence in Ireland was confirmed by one stranded animal from Ballysadare Bay, Co. Sligo in 1989. The carcass was salvaged and was articulated by the Ulster Museum in Belfast.

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