PORT PHILLIP BAY


Strap-toothed Beaked Whale 

Mesoplodon layardii

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

See below for information.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Class:
Mammalia
Order:
Cetacea
Family:
Ziphiidae
Genus:
Mesoplodon
Species:
layardii

General Description

Body dark with white-grey throat patch and lower jaw. Dark patch on top of head extending around eyes. Backward curving long tusks (up to 30cm) in middle of lower jaw. Young whales with less distinct colouration, dark above and pale below. Up to 6.4 m long.

Biology

This is the largest of the mesoplodont beaked whales, with adults reaching six metres in length and weighing more than 1300 kg. The bizarre curved teeth in these whales prevent the mouth of some individuals from opening far, which limits the size and type of prey to mainly small, slender squid of about 15 cm in length.

Habitat

Deep areas beyond the continental shelf in temperate waters of the Southern Hemisphere.

Open water

Distribution guide

Limited to the Southern Hemisphere. Potentially near Port Phillip, recorded from Victoria.

Species Group

Mammals Whales and dolphins

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

Surface Midwater

Max Size

6.4 m

Diet

Carnivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Data Deficient
  • CITES : Trade restrictions (Appendix II)

Author

article author Fitzgerald, E.

Dr. Erich Fitzgerald is a Senior Curator of palaeontology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Patullo, B.

Blair Patullo is Online Producer for marine projects at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Fitzgerald, E. & Patullo, B., 2011, Strap-toothed Beaked Whale, Mesoplodon layardii, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 19 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/8088

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