Blainville’s Beaked Whales

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Blainville’s Beaked Whales

 

Today Tenerife had another new cetacean species for us to add to our catalog – the Blainville’s Beaked whale! Not only did we manage to observe a new species, but the experience was extraordinary with a pod of 5 whales slowly swimming and surfacing frequently. We were very excited to add a beaked whale to our list, bringing our total to 12 different cetacean species seen on our Tenerife whale watching tours.

Blainville’s Beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris) is the widest ranging of the mesoplodont whale species found in all the topical and temperate seas. The body is robust with a sloping forehead and medium sized beak. These whales reach approximately 4.5 meters in length and can weigh up to 900 kilos. The males have a uniquely shaped jaw with a long, barnacle infested tooth that sticks up above the forehead.

As the Blainville’s Beaked whales do not migrate, it is likely that this group are residents of Tenerife. We followed up on this rare sighting with a local scientific research group that studies the Blainville’s Beaked whales in Tenerife and it seems that this particular group has been observed before in Tenerife. We were able to forward our images to them for proper identification and cataloging for research.

These are one of the deepest diving beaked whales often reaching over 800 meters during their foraging dives. They are known to feed both during the day and at night, their main diet consists of squid. This whale has an unusual technique of creating an internal low pressure while sucking in water and their prey.

We are back out on the seas tomorrow, searching for more species of whales and dolphins to observe and share with our guests. Observing this pod of 5 Blainville’s Beaked whales was a rare and exciting encounter for all of us at Whale Watch Tenerife. We feel very grateful to be able to share such wonderful moments with our guests.

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