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(beaked whales), a family of mammals of the suborder Odontoceti (toothed whales). The body measures 4–12.5 m long. The snout is extended into a beak; the cushion of fat (frontal process) is well developed. There are two to four furrows on the throat that converge anteriorly. The flukes have no notches on the rear edge.

The family comprises five genera: Berardius (two species), Hyperoodon (two species), Ziphius (one species), Mesoplodon (11 species), and Tasmacetus (one species). There are one or two pairs of teeth in the lower jaw only; an exception is the Tasmanian, or shepherd’s beaked whale (Tasmacetus shepherdi), which has as many as 93 teeth. The Ziphiidae are distributed in all the oceans. In the waters of the USSR there are four genera with five species: the bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus), Cuvier’s beaked whale (or goose-beaked whale; Ziphius cavirostris), Baird’s whale (Berardius bairdi), the Mesoplodon steinegeri, and Sowerby’s whale (Mesoplodon bidens).

The Ziphiidae feed on cephalopods, often diving for 15–30 minutes to depths of hundreds of meters. The bottlenose whale and Cuvier’s beaked whale are objects of commerce.


Tomilin, A. G. Kitoobraznye. Moscow, 1957. (Zveri SSSR i prilezhashchikh stran, vol. 9.)
Zhizn’zhivotnykh, vol. 6. Moscow, 1971.
References in periodicals archive ?
Beaked whales and several other species of delphinids were encountered too infrequently to estimate abundance.
Beaked whales are highly sensitive to sound and account for the majority of beachings near military exercises.
He said because it lives in such deep water the True's Beaked whale has only ever been seen alive a couple of times.
The Cuvier's beaked whale is a so-called toothed whale.
Yesterday we went down to the beach, because Ally saw a Beaked Whale.
HAKODATE, Japan - Japan's coastal whale hunting season in the Sea of Japan began Wednesday as the first catch of Baird's beaked whale was landed in Hakodate port, Hokkaido.
Stocks of Baird's beaked whales and short-finned pilot whales rose 9.
Marine Scientist, Elayne Looker said that from Matthew's description, the whale was probably a Cuvier's Beaked Whale "not commonly seen but it is not unique to spot it in this area.
The carcass of the Stejneger's Beaked Whale washed ashore and was found by the environmental group Heal the Bay.
Abstract--We describe the food habits of the Sowerby's beaked whale (Mesoplodon bidens) from observations of 10 individuals taken as bycatch in the pelagic drift gillnet fishery for Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) in the western North Atlantic and 1 stranded individual from Kennebunk, Maine.
Another critical question is why the beaked whale mass strandings seem to have occurred in several specific places.