PORT PHILLIP BAY


True's Beaked Whale 

Mesoplodon mirus

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

See below for information.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Class:
Mammalia
Order:
Cetacea
Suborder:
Odontoceti
Family:
Ziphiidae
Genus:
Mesoplodon
Species:
mirus

General Description

Body coloured pale white-grey underneath and dark on sides and back. White patch extending from dorsal fin to underside (Victorian/southern hemisphere individuals). Black ring around eye. Oval-shaped teeth (in cross-section) in tip of lower jaw. Water spray from blowhole is bushy or indistinct. Up to 5.4 m long.

Biology

Individuals of this species are visually different in the northern and southern hemispheres and occur in ranges that are not known to overlap, suggesting that this beaked whale may be two species or subspecies. They can weigh up to 1400 kg and newborn calves are about 2 m long.

Habitat

Temperate waters of northern and southern hemispheres.

Open water

Distribution guide

North Atlantic, southern Indian and Atlantic oceans. 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

5.4 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, True's Beaked Whale, Mesoplodon mirus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 21 Sep 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/8089

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