Scientific Name: Ziphuis cavirostris
Family: Ziphiidae
Range: Widespread in Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans
Habitat: Oceanic and coastal waters close to steep gradients such as underwater canyons
Status: Unknown
Population: Unknown
Diet: Mid-water or deepwater squid, fish and crustaceans
Length: 5.5-7m
Weight 2.2-3.3 tons



This is the tail of the animal. Broad with no or small notch in the middle. Trailing edges are slightly concave.

Dorsal Fin

The dorsal fin is a fin located on the back of most marine and freshwater vertebrates. Set well behind the center of the body. Trailing edge in usually indented, but occasionally straight, and the tip is slightly rounded.


Small, with convex trailing edges and rounded tips.

Head Shape

Short, slightly upturned beak. Mostly cream coloured in front of the eyes, and behind the head in old males. Two teeth usually visible at the tip of the lower jaw in adult males.


Colour varies from rusty brown to dark grey, underside often slightly darker. Adults may appear mottled because of circular or oval scars from cookie-cutter sharks or lampreys.


Low, bushy and indistinct.

Group Size

Typically in groups of 2-7, occasionally up to 25. Older males tend to be more solitary


Sometimes curious. Dives typically last between 20 and 40 minutes, usually arches back steeply when diving. Occasionally projects head at a shallow angle above the water or breaches near vertical.