Also known as the Antillean Beaked Whale, Gervais’ Beaked Whales (Mesoplodon europaeus) are one the largest species of the Mesoplodon genus but still little is known about them.
- Latin name : Mesoplodon europaeus
- Suborder : Odotonceti
- Family: Ziphiidae
- Length : up to 6 meters
- Weight : up to 1.2 tons
- Dive time : up to 60 minutes
- Dive depth: up to 1000 meters
- IUCN Status: Data deficient
Color: Dark to brownish grey on the back, and lighter flanks and belly. Dark patch around the eyes.
Head: Rounded melon relatively flat top with a shallow slope into the short beak.
Fins: Small, wide-based and triangular to falcate dorsal fin.
Teeth: A pair of teeth located on the lower jaw about one-third of the way from the tip of the beak (mature males).
Gervais’ Beaked Whales mainly feed on different species of squids. The occasionally eat fish and crustaceans (e.g., deep sea shrimp). Prey is captured by suction feeding.
Sexual maturity is reached at the length of 5 meters. At birth, calves measure around 2 meters in length. Very little is known about their reproduction.
Often seen in small group of 3-4 individuals or by pairs. Scarring is typical especially among males due to aggressive social behaviors. Breaching behavior has been documented.
Poorly known, they probably use echolocation to locate the prey during deep dives and remain relatively silent in proximity of the surface to avoid predators.