Arnoux’s Beaked Whale: Rare Sighting, Rare Behavior of Enigmatic Species

Written by on November 9, 2009 in Marine Life

The BBC reported about the sighting of a group of approximately 60 Arnoux’s beaked whales on the surface in the Gerlache Strait.  A unique sighting not only for the size of the group, but it is also the first time these whales have been seen socializing.

Arnoux's beaked whale - Arnoux's inhabit great tracts of the Southern Ocean. Beachings in New Zealand and Argentina indicate that the whale is relatively common in the areas south of those countries down to Antarctica. It has also been spotted close to South Georgia and South Africa, indicating a likely circumpolar distribution. The northernmost stranding was as 34 degrees south, indicating that whale inhabits cool and temperate as well as polar waters.

Arnoux's beaked whale - Arnoux's inhabit great tracts of the Southern Ocean. Beachings in New Zealand and Argentina indicate that the whale is relatively common in the areas south of those countries down to Antarctica. It has also been spotted close to South Georgia and South Africa, indicating a likely circumpolar distribution. The northernmost stranding was as 34 degrees south, indicating that whale inhabits cool and temperate as well as polar waters.

The largest of the beaked whales is sometimes referred to as giant beaked whale.  Little is known about these whales; they are usually seen in groups of 3 to 10 individuals, groups of up to 50 have been seen on exceptional occasions. 

Read the sighting report and researchers comment at BBC’s Earth News.

Copyright ©  2009 by Marine Science Today, a publication of OceanLines LLC

About the Author

About the Author: Celia is Director of Business Operations for OceanLines LLC and is a frequent contributor to both OceanLines and Marine Science Today. She is a certified diver and her favorite topic is marine biology, especially stories about whales. .

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