Mesoplodon

Mesoplodon

 

a genus of mammals of the family Ziphiidae (beaked whales). The whales have a body length reaching 6 m; the coloration is dark, sometimes with white spots. The beak is set slightly apart from the low frontal nasal cushion. The rostrum of the skull is hard and solid, and the jaws are long and narrow. The single pair of teeth are flat and located in the front part of the lower jaw. The teeth usually do not break through the surface in females. There are 11 species; three are found in the Atlantic Ocean, three in the North Pacific, four in the southern hemisphere, and one in the tropical zone of the world’s oceans. The whales are rare and have not been studied much. They eat cephalopod mollusks and fish.

REFERENCE

Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 6. Moscow, 1971.
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Take reduction plans currently are in effect for the harbor porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, in the Mid Atlantic and Gulf of Maine regions; large whales (Eubalaena glacialis, Megaptera novaenangliae, and Balaenoptera physalis) in the Atlantic; and the pilot whale, Globicephala macrorhynchus; pygmy sperm whale, Kogia breviceps; sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus; humpback whale, Megaptera novaeanliae; and beaked whales (Berardius bairdii, Mesoplodon spp.
Schmidly (1981) listed Matagorda Island and Nueces County as localities for an unspecified number of specimens of Mesoplodon europaeus housed in the TCWC.
The circumstances relative to the collection locality of TCWC 50855 and 50857 are discussed under the above Remarks section of Mesoplodon densirostris.
Six of these species are in the genus Mesoplodon, including the newest species, which was described in 1991 (see photo overleaf).
Julian and Beeson (1998) reported a total of 20 Cuvier's beaked whales, Ziphius cavirostris; one Baird's beaked whale, Berardius bairdii; one Stegneger's beaked whale, Mesoplodon stegnegerii; five Hubb's beaked whales, Mesoplodon hubbsi; two unidentified mesoplodont beaked whales, Mesoplodon sp.
The Sowerby's beaked whale (Mesoplodon bidens) is 1 of 4 species of the genus Mesoplodon (Family Ziphiidae) in the western North Atlantic.
Cetacean species caught, in decreasing order, were common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, Risso's dolphin, beaked whale, Mesoplodon spp.
Species Common name Years Balaenoptera edeni * Bryde's whale 2003 Balaenoptera musculus blue whale 2003 Balaenoptera physalus fin whale 2003 Delphinus capensis * long-beaked common 2003 dolphin Delphinus delphis short-beaked common 2003 dolphin Feresa attenuata pygmy killer whale 2003 Globicephala macrorhynchus short-finned pilot 2003 whale Grampus griseus Risso's dolphin 2003 Lagenodelphis hosei Fraser's dolphin 2003 Lagenorhynchus obliquidens Pacific white-sided 2003 dolphin Lagenorhynchus obscurus dusky dolphin 2003 Megaptera nouaeangliae * humpback whale 2003 Mesoplodon spp.
Unidentified delphinoids were pooled with all delphinids; unidentified small whales were pooled with Ziphius, Mesoplodon and Kogia spp.
In odontocete males, these characteristics are present in the form of "weapons," such as the tusk of the narwhal (Monodon monoceros) and the teeth in species of the genus Grampus, Physeter, Berardius, Hyperoodon, and Mesoplodon used in male-male combats (MacLeod, 1998).
Overall abundances for the genus Kogia and the genus Mesoplodon were estimated.