Mesoplodon densirostris   de Blainville,  1817 (Whale)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Mammalia

Image copyrights: David sellwood

Size: 4.7-5.2 m

Weight: 1-3.6 ton.

Color: The male are generally dark in color overall, and often have white or reddish patches on the head. The females are black or charcoal grey in color on the back, and slightly lighter or white on the abdomen. Scars usually cover the body, males being more heavily scarred than female.

The head and the body of this beaked whale are spindle shaped and strongly compressed at the tail. There is a slight neck depression, and the beak is prominent. Two massive (up to 15 cm high) teeth are present on either side of the lower jaw in males. They are located on prominent raised arches, and may be higher than the forehead. These are not erupted in females. The eyes are moderately large. Two grooves are present on the throat, forming an open ‘V’. The head is often flattened in front of the blowhole.

The location of the teeth is unusual, even among the beaked whales. The teeth cannot be of much use in catching the slippery squid on which it feeds. Stranded Blainville’s Beaked Whales produce sounds described as ‘roars’ and ‘sobbing groans’.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Dense Beaked Whale (English)
• Atlantic Beaked Whale (English)
• Densed Beaked Whale
• Blainville’s Beaked Whale (English)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Demersal, Open Sea
Prey:  Squid
IUCN Status:  Data Deficient


• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Agarwal, VC and Alfred, JRB (1999) Handbook: Whales, dolphins and dugong from Indian seas ZSI, Calcutta 150 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at -
  • Zoological Survey of India (Eds) (1991) Animal resources of India (Protozoa to Mammalia) ZSI 1-694 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Sathasivam K (2004) Marine mammals of India Universities Press(India) private limited, Hyderabad, India 180 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at -
  • Arkive: Images of life on earth Available at -
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -
  • Padmanaban P and Dinesh K.P (2011) A checklist of Marine Mammals of India Marine Biology Reginal centre, Zoological Survey of India 4pp Available at -
  • Jefferson, TA; Leatherwood, S and Webber, MA (2006) Marine mammals of the world World biodiversity database Available at -

Page last updated on:2012-11-07

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