Mesoplodon carlhubbsi Moore, 1963

English: Hubbs' beaked whale
German: Hubbs-Zweizahnwal
Spanish: Zifio de Hubbs
French: Mésoplodon de Hubbs

Drawing of Mesoplodon carlhubbsi © Wurtz-Artescienza (see links).

1. Description

Adult females and the young are medium grey which fades through lighter grey to white on the flanks and undersides. Males are dark grey to black, save for a white region from the rostrum's tip and lower jaw to the back of the teeth, and another around the blowhole. Two prominant teeth erupt from the rear of their lower jaw, but remain concealed in females. The skin may have many scratches from other males' teeth. Both the longest male and the longest female specimens measured 5.3m (Ward 2001).back to the top of the page

2. Distribution

Hubbs' beaked whale is found in temperate waters of the North Pacific. In the west it has been recorded from the northeastern coast of Honshu; in the east it is found from Prince Rupert in British Columbia south to San Diego in California (Rice, 1998). According to Houston (1990b) it is known from only 31 stranded specimens and one possible live sighting. Most strandings have been along the North American coast from Prince Rupert, British Columbia to La Jolla, California. Four strandings are recorded from Ayukawa, Japan.

Distribution of Mesoplodon carlhubbsi (mod. from Carwardine, 1995 and Pitman 2002;
Copyright: CMS / GROMS; enlarge map).). Hubbs' beaked whale is found in the temperate
North Pacific from California to Japan (Pitman 2002).
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3. Population size

no entries.back to the top of the page

4. Biology and Behaviour

The male Hubbs' Beaked Whale is one of the few beaked whales that could be positively identified at sea, although there has been only a single probable sighting (near La Jolla, California, USA). Females and juveniles are probably impossible to identify at sea; they have medium gray upper sides, lighter gray sides, and white undersides and their teeth do not erupt. With only a single possible sighting, very little is known about their behavior. The remarkable degree of scarring suggests considerable aggression between males. Presumably, Hubbs' Beaked Whales are shy and unobtrusive like other Mesoplodon species (Carwardine, 1995).back to the top of the page

5. Migration

no entries.back to the top of the page

6. Threats

The species is not known to have been, or to be, of interest to commercial fisheries and is probably protected by its rarity and occurrence in less frequented (by man) waters of the North Pacific (Houston, 1990b). As opposed to this, Jefferson et al. (1993) report that some Hubb's beaked whales have been taken by harpoon off Japan. .back to the top of the page

7. Remarks

Hubbs' Beaked Whale is categorised as "Data Deficient" by the IUCN and is not listed by CMS (see "links").back to the top of the page

8. Sources

see "Genus Mesoplodon - Beaked whales: Introduction and Sources"

© Boris Culik, Kiel, Germany, 2003

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