Northern bottlenose whale fun facts.

Today was a typical Autumn day. A bit cold, windy, and that made us stay on land!
Let’s have a talk about the Northern bottlenose whale! You may have never heard of them, or seen them while being on a Whale Watch tour with us, because they appear to be very rare in the Azores. Our last sighting was once in 2015, and before that, very few other sightings in our past years. Still rarely but what sometimes happens, is that lookouts in various places of the Azorean islands may see one with their binoculars.

Nevertheless, whenever they do decide to show up, it is mostly on a migratory pattern between July and August.
See the table below for the single Northern bottlenose whale sighting on one of our boat trips from 2015.


Northern Bottlenose whale, seen last on 18-08-2017.


As you can see on the photos, these toothed whales have a robust, large body that can reach up to 9.8 meters in male adults and weight up to 6000 KG.

In males, the bulbous melon (used for echolocation) becomes more developed with age, which creates this very steep and flat forehead.

Males have one single pair of small, conical teeth at the tip of their lower jaw, but they are not always visible. Females and juveniles have their teeth hidden in their gums, like they are in small children 🙂


Since they belong to the deep diving family of Beaked whales – with dives up to 1500m. that can last for 2 hours, these guys hunt mainly on squids and cephalopods in very deep waters. Other than that, they feed on fish, crustaceans and other benthic animals, and juveniles may feed closer to the surface.

However they can dive for extremely long periods, it is more likely to dive up to 10 min. in a general pattern. Well…we can still call that pretty long compared to us humans! 🙂

That was it for today, be with us for tomorrow!


About Milou

Milou is Marine Biologist, and was Marine Wildlife Guide at TERRA AZUL from 2010 to 2019. She is from Holland, and is passionate about being out in the ocean with wildlife, informing visitors, and collecting field imagery and data for local Cetaceans and Sea Turtles Research & Conservation projects.

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