Antillean beaked whale, Gulf Stream beaked whale, European Beaked whale, Gervais's beaked whale, Gulf stream beaked whale, European beaked whale
Gervais's beaked whale (Mesoplodon europaeus ), sometimes known as the Antillean beaked whale, Gulf Stream beaked whale, or European beaked whale (from which its scientific name is derived) is the most frequently stranding type of mesoplodont whale off the coast of North America. It has also stranded off South America and Africa.
A carnivore meaning 'meat eater' is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of a...
A molluscivore is a carnivorous animal that specializes in feeding on molluscs such as gastropods, bivalves, brachiopods, and cephalopods. Known mo...
A piscivore is a carnivorous animal that eats primarily fish. Piscivorous is equivalent to the Greek-derived word ichthyophagous. Fish were the die...
An aquatic animal is an animal, either vertebrate or invertebrate, which lives in water for most or all of its life. It may breathe air or extract ...
Precocial species are those in which the young are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth or hatching. Precocial species are normall...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Gervais' beaked whales are also known as the "Antillean" or "Gulf Stream beaked whales". Because of a low profile at the surface as well as small, hardly observed blow, this species is insufficiently explored and difficult to spot at sea. Males are slightly smaller than females. Adult males are identified by a pair of visible teeth, appearing from the front of their lower jaw, whereas teeth of adult females and juveniles are not visible, hidden under the gum tissue of their mouth. Gervais' beaked whales are dark gray or bluish to black. The ventral side is paler than the rest of the body. The skin of these whales usually darkens as they age. Mature males occasionally exhibit scars, running across their bodies as a result of fights to defend their mating rights.
These animals inhabit waters of the central and northern Atlantic Ocean and are primarily found north of the equator. Gervais' beaked whales favor deep tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate waters, though can also live in colder, temperate waters.
There is very scarce information about this species, since the Gervais' beaked whales are rarely seen at sea. A handful of observations indicate that the animals breach the water and remain submerged for long periods of time after brief surfacings. Gervais' beaked whales are likely to be social animals, living in couples or forming small groups. Occasional strandings have shown a huge number of scars on the bodies of male specimen, suggesting that males of this species engage in fights. Gervais' beaked whales exhibit the same tooth marks as the cookie-cutter sharks and the orca. They are likely to be deep-divers. A great number of strandings are females with their newborn offspring, assuming that these animals come closer to the seashore mainly to give birth.
Almost nothing is known about the reproductive habits of this species. Females probably yield a single baby at a time, which is likely to be precocial and measure approximately 6.8 feet (2.1 meters) in length. Females of Gervais’ beaked whales are thought to reach sexual maturity at 15 feet (4.5 m) long.
Currently, Gervais’ beaked whales are accidentally entangled in gillnets throughout their range. The animals may also suffer from acoustic trauma as a result of military noise pollution underwater.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Gervais’ beaked whales is unknown for today, but there is an estimate of 106 whales, found in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Currently, this species is classified as Data Deficient (DD) on the IUCN Red List.