Northern bottlenose whale

Hyperoodon ampullatus (Forster, 1770)

The male adult bottlenose whale measures between 7.5 to 9.8 meters and reaches more than 7 tons. The female measures between 5.8 and 8.7 meters and reaches 5.8 tons. The newborn measures between 3 to 3.5 meters and weighs about 300 kg.

These animals have a dark brown cylindrical body, a bulbous forehead, a prominent beak, the lower jaw overlapping slightly to the upper jaw, and a furrow behind the head.

In this species, the only pair of teeth at the tip of the lower jaw emerges only in adult males. It has the peculiarity of making a visible blow at some distance and of making dives that can take about an hour, but the most common is to make dives under 10 min. They can reach depths greater than 1500 m.

It reaches sexual maturity at 7-11 years and the mating season peaks in the spring. The gestation period is about 12 months. They give birth to a single baby every 4 or 5 years.

Ingested preys include cephalopods, some fish, echinoderms and crustaceans. They feed mainly on deep water near the ocean floor (depths exceeding 800 m).

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Additional Information

They occur in the Azores, usually between July and August.

The two major threats facing the species are imprisonment in fishing gear and noise pollution, as it can cause serious damage to the inner ear.