Facts about Southern Bottlenose whales

Factfile


Scientific name: Hyperoodon planifrons
Family: Ziphiidae
Range: Southern Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Southern oceans
Habitat: Deep oceanic waters
Status: Low risk
Population: Unknown
Diet: Squid, fish and bottom-dwelling invertebrates
Length: 6-10m
Weight: 6.5-8.5 tons


Identification


Flukes: Broad with no or small notch in the middle
Dorsal fin: Set back on the body. Trailing indented edge
Flippers: Small with convex trailing edges
Shape of head: Whitish or pale grey beak and bulbous melon with indentation beneath. Lower jaw extends beyond upper. Two teeth visible at tip of lower jaw in adult males
Body: Colour from dark grey to tan or grey-brown with creamy brown or pale grey underside. Young whales are darker than adults
Blow: Projects slightly forward about 1.9m high
Group size: Groups of 2-10, occasionally up to 25
Behaviour: Dives last 10-60 minutes, may lie at surface for 10 minutes or more, blowing every 30-40 seconds before diving again. Occasionally lobtail or breach

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