Short-finned Pilot Whale

Hawaiian Island Cetaceans

Cuvier’s Beaked Whale

Scientific Name - Ziphius cavirostris

Average Length - Male: 7m, Female: 7.5m

Photo Credit: © Robin W. Baird/Cascadia Research Collective

 

Cuvier’s beaked whales are believed to number close to 2000 animals in Hawaiian waters with both insular and offshore, pelagic populations. Site fidelity of known individuals near the Big Island over greater than a 20 year period combined with satellite data that show a small range of movement suggest a resident, island associated population off the Big Island. Mature males have two teeth that protrude from the tip of the lower jaw. The body is dark grey to reddish brown in color. Mottled scarring is usually present, presumably from cookie cutter shark bites that increase in abundance with age. Linear scarring down the length of the body is also common which is thought to be from the teeth of male Cuvier’s beaked whales. Similar to other species of beaked whales, Cuvier’s beaked whales are believed to be vulnerable to this impacts of underwater noise.

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