The ginkgo-toothed beaked whale (Mesoplodon ginkgodens) is a poorly known species of whale even for a beaked whale, and was named for the unusual shape of its dual teeth. Some animals cleared the water completely during these breaches. No erupted tusks were observed in these animals, and therefore identification was not definitive; however, a combination of identification features coincides with those of True’s beaked whales (McLellan et al., 2018). All photos were taken in less than two seconds. Other names: Japanese beaked whale We document a pod of four beaked whales in the Bay of Biscay breaching and tail slapping alongside a large passenger ferry. Within this family, the genus Mesopolodon consists of approximately 14 species that are morphologically similar, and many remain relatively unknown (Pitman, 2009; Ellis & Mead, 2017). As this condition has not been reported previously, and is rarely reported in more common ziphiids, it is logical to assume that only a small percentage of animals possess supernumerary teeth. Halfway through the jaw, there is a sharp curve up where the ginkgo leaf-shaped tooth is. Photo credit: Travis Park. In addition to the identifying characteristics previously mentioned, many individuals were strongly scarred, showing evidence of linear and parallel tooth rake marks. Lesser Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon ... Teeth erupt in males only, extending from the lower jaw to curve over the upper, preventing it from opening fully. Thus, data are insufficient to estimate population trends. The Bay of Biscay is a heterogeneous habitat with varied bathymetry that ranges from shallow coastal waters, continental shelf edge, deep pelagic, and deep subsea canyons and seamounts (Kiszka et al., 2007). Cuvier’s beaked whale, or the goose-beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris), has a single pair of teeth at the very tip of the jaw. 4), showing at least one individual is an adult male. The species probably feeds primarily on squid. The beak itself is of a moderate length. Staff and trained volunteers were guiding a photography trip with Jessops Academy on the MV Pont-Aven ferry (184 m length, 24.1 m deck height) which transits between Portsmouth, UK–Santander, Spain–Plymouth, UK. Common use cases Specimens were of various ages and sexes and recovered from the east coast of the USA, and Ireland (Table 1). This is the first conclusive True’s beaked whale sighting in the north-east Atlantic and builds upon previous Mesoplodon sightings that are likely to have been True’s beaked whales in the Bay of Biscay. Males fight over females; they use their teeth as weapons and they have numerous tooth-rake scrapes and scars on their head and back to prove it. The background tusk is complete, whereas the foreground one is worn and/or damaged. The photographed evidence of an additional pair of teeth is unexpected, with no previous records of this dentition in other live or stranded animals. The group was estimated in-situ to consist of four individuals, and this was confirmed on reviewing 842 photographs taken during the encounter. Scans were cleaned, prepared, and exported to .ply in Geomagic Wrap software (3D Systems) at a resolution of 0.8 mm and then rendered in MeshLab. 2009. The vestigial alveolar groove was present on the mandible of all specimens. Unerupted teeth in females and subadult males were apparent, as were alveoli—suggesting that they would not be overlooked if present in museum specimens (Fig. Both genders reach 4.9 meters (16 feet) in length. The Cuvier's beaked whale was in very poor and emaciated condition, and near death, a DOC statement said. These lower breaches sometimes ended with a mid-air twist by the animals so that they landed on their sides. A rare beaked whale found on a South Australian beach in February has left scientists baffled after it was discovered with two mysterious extra teeth. They can be found in deep, warm, temperate waters of the North Atlantic Ocean as well as at least two other areas in the Southern Hemisphere. Some whales (such as the narwhal) have only one or two teeth while others species (such as the short-beaked common dolphin) have as many as 240 teeth or more. 2) in the southern Bay of Biscay, three km from the Torrelavega canyon (>4,100 m depth). All sightings in the Bay of Biscay have been in water over 2,000 m deep, with a mean water depth of 3,159 m. With few confirmed sightings at sea, knowledge of the behaviour of this species is severely limited. Their key distinguishing feature is the presence of a 'beak', somewhat similar to many dolphins. thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. Examiners from the South Australian Museum were shocked to discover the female specimen had two protruding teeth above its jawline since this particular trait had… No beaked whale species were observed during the cetacean sighting surveys conducted within the Korean exclusive economic zone, which were undertaken 53 times between 2000 and 2010 . Beaked whale species are a bit of mystery to scientists, spending much of their time far from shore. Tusks are casts of the originals. Gervais’ beaked whales also have a pair of teeth which are placed further posterior than those seen in True’s (Ellis & Mead, 2017). Identification was based on the slope of the melon (Ellis & Mead, 2017), colouration (Figs. Little is known about this family of cetaceans; one species was first described in 1995, two others are known only from skeletal remains, and the bodies of undescribed species occasionally drift ashore. Beaked Whale. The longest female recorded measured 6.15m, while the longest male reached 5.84m. (A) and (B) may be of separate animals. Photographs of the animals were independently reviewed by experts, and identified as True’s beaked whales (Mesoplodon mirus). The shape of the male's teeth are similar to the shape of the leaf. 7 and 8) to add to the limited published records, and 3D scans have been archived on the Phenome10K website (http://phenome10k.org/; Goswami, 2015).  Its range is essentially tropical and temperate waters in the Indian and Pacific Ocean. Marine Mammal Encyclopedia, Notes on the taxonomy and osteology of two species of Mesoplodon: (M. europaeus Gervais, M. mirus True), Citizen science in the marine environment: a case-study estimating common dolphin densities in the north-east Atlantic, Whales, dolphins and seals: a field guide to the marine mammals of the world, Causes of mortality in stranded Common Dolphin (, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Photo credits: Diane E. Pitassy and Don Hurlbert, National Museum of Natural History Imaging Services, Smithsonian Institution. Mesoplodonts are notoriously difficult to identify, especially at sea. A comprehensive guide to their identification, On the number of teeth and its variability in Berardius bairdi, a genus of the beaked whale, Distribution, encounter rates, and habitat characteristics of toothed cetaceans in the Bay of Biscay and adjacent waters from platform-of-opportunity data, Seasonal distribution and abundance of cetaceans within French waters—Part II: the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel, Species recognition as a possible function for variations in position and shape of the sexually dimorphic tusks of, Known and inferred distributions of beaked whale species (Cetacea: Ziphiidae), Cetacean biodiversity in the Bay of Biscay: suggestions for environmental protection derived from citizen science data, Distribution and abundance of beaked whales (Family Ziphiidae) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, USA, Dataset: historical UK cetacean strandings dataset (1913–1989), Perrin et al. Cuvier’s beaked whales are the most widespread beaked whale. In the North Atlantic, True’s beaked whales are most likely confused with Gervais’ beaked whales due to a shared grey colouration, dark eye patch, and pale ventral area. The anal-genital patch appeared light pink (Fig. Signs of a second pair of tusks were investigated by looking for mandibular or vestigial teeth. This is the first such record of supernumerary teeth in True’s beaked whales. Beaked whales are often inconspicuous and elevated observation platforms available on ferries are unlikely to often provide views good enough for identification of Mesoplodon species. What do they eat? Information on the behaviour of True’s beaked whales is scarce due to confirmed sightings of live animals being limited. Photographs of animals were circulated to seven independent experts for species identification. The reason being the presence of two additional teeth. Scans were cleaned, prepared, and exported to .ply in Geomagic Wrap software at a resolution of 0.8 mm and then rendered in MeshLab. All cetacean sightings were recorded, with accompanying photographs taken using an array of camera bodies and lenses. Unlike other species such as Blainville's beaked whale and Andrews' beaked whale, the teeth do not arch over the rostrum. However, a stranded Cuvier’s beaked whale was recorded with a similarly placed, single supernumerary mandibular tooth that was also smaller than the apical tusks, but was not set in alveoli (Fordyce, Mattlin & Wilson, 1979). All specimen locations are outlined in detail in Table 1. NOAA Fisheries manages two stocks of Baird’s beaked whale: the Alaska stock and the California-Oregon-Washington stock. The external appearance of Shepherd’s beaked whales was only described in detail in 2006. Beaked whales appeared first in the middle Miocene, and the earliest dolphins and porpoises in the late Miocene of approximately 11mybp. The beaked whale family is made up of at least 21 species. ", Official webpage of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Conservation of Cetaceans and Their Habitats in the Pacific Islands Region, 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T13246A3427970.en, Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ginkgo-toothed_beaked_whale&oldid=985044031, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 23 October 2020, at 16:38. The group was initially spotted parallel to the bow, and next surfaced approximately 15 m from the ship, midway along the port side, where three of them breached and landed on their side, and the fourth animal broke the surface with its beak in swimming behaviours often seen in beaked whales. Based on the findings of this study, and those in the literature (e.g., Weir et al., 2004; Kiszka et al., 2007; Dolman et al., 2011; Laran et al., 2017), a dedicated survey researching beaked whales in the Bay of Biscay could further investigate species diversity and occurrence. It is a fairly typical-looking species, but is notable for the males not having any scarring. Ginkgo-toothed beaked whales are more robust than most mesoplodonts, but otherwise look fairly typical. All available literature suggests patches are white (Weir et al., 2004); although it is common for colouration to appear different after death (Stockin et al., 2009; Aguilar de Soto et al., 2017), and it has been hypothesized that pink ventral colouration may exist in live Mesoplodon mirus (Raven, 1937). Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, PeerJ (Life, Biological, Environmental and Health Sciences), PeerJ - General bio (stats, legal, policy, edu), http://phenome10k.org/mesoplodon-mirus-2/, http://phenome10k.org/mesoplodon-mirus-3/, What can cetacean stranding records tell us?