Mobile
Action Join Donate
MarineBio Conservation Society Ocean Conservation Marine Life Species Database Education+Careers Projects Sponsors Contributors Photos Videos News Contact
pinterest

Arnoux's Beaked Whales, Berardius arnuxii

Loading species photos...
Loading species photos...

Description & Behavior

Arnoux's beaked whales, Berardius arnuxii (Duvernoy, 1851), aka Arnux's beaked whales, southern four-toothed whales, southern beaked whales, New Zealand beaked whales, southern giant bottlenose whales and southern porpoise whales, are a rare cetacean species. These whales reach up to 9.75 m in length, and their females are thought to be slightly larger than the males. Arnoux's beaked whales resemble Baird's beaked whales, but Arnoux's is slightly smaller. They are predominantly dark brown in color with paler coloring on their head and ventral sides (undersides), which also have white patches. Like other whale species, males show extensive scarring, particularly around their dorsal fins. They are often called southern four-toothed whales because of their 4 teeth found in their lower jaws that are visible even when their mouth is closed. Their head is relatively small and their beak is slender.

Arnoux's beaked whales are a gregarious species generally found in groups of 6-10, but larger groups of 80 individuals have been recorded. Groups of these whales have been observed swimming under sea ice up to 7 km deep between breaths, a remarkable distance for any cetacean. During breathing intervals near the surface, these whales have been observed changing direction before diving between 249-366 m for long periods of time, up to an hour, in extremely cold water. The surface temperature of the water in the area studied in this case was -0.8°C. In spite of these amazing swimming skills, Arnoux's beaked whales have been known to become trapped under ice.

World Range & Habitat

Arnoux's beaked whales, Berardius arnuxii, are found throughout the southern hemisphere from the Antarctic continent and ice edge north, to about 34°S. They are found in the southern Pacific including southeastern Australia 29°S and northern New Zealand 37°S, and in the southern Atlantic to Sao Paolo 24°S, and the Indian Ocean. They are widely distributed; however they are not common within their range. Most reported sightings have been in the Tasman Sea and around the Albatross Cordillera in the South Pacific. Strandings have predominantly been found around New Zealand.

Arnoux's beaked whales are known to enter pack-ice and are thought to live close to the ice edge in summer and farther out in open water during winter.

There have been many sightings of Arnoux's beaked whales in the Cook Strait during summer, and sightings of large pods were reported along the western Antarctic coast during spring.

The Arnoux's beaked whale has been found in both shallow, coastal waters, as well as near continental slopes and seamounts.

Feeding Behavior (Ecology)

Arnoux's beaked whales, Berardius arnuxii, likely feed on benthic (bottom-dwelling) and pelagic (open water) fishes and cephalopods.

Life History

Arnoux's beaked whales, Berardius arnuxii, are thought to share similar reproductive habits with Baird's beaked whales.

Conservation Status & Comments

Arnoux's beaked whales, Berardius arnuxii, are too widely dispersed in remote areas for commercial hunting. Several individual whales have apparently been taken for scientific study.

References & Further Research

Approximately 60 Arnoux's beaked whales were seen and photographed frolicking on the surface in the Gerlache Strait, Antarctica (November 4th, 2009).
Whale strife: Elation turns to sorrow
CMS: Berardius arnuxii, Arnoux's beaked whale
Center for Cetacean Research and Conservation (CCRC) - Beaked whales (+ videos)
Jefferson, T.A., S. Leatherwood, and M.A. Webber, FAO species identification guide, Marine mammals of the world, Rome, FAO. 1993. 320 p. 587 figs.

Research Berardius arnuxii » Barcode of Life ~ BioOne ~ Biodiversity Heritage Library ~ CITES ~ Cornell Macaulay Library [audio / video] ~ Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) ~ ESA Online Journals ~ FishBase ~ Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department ~ GBIF ~ Google Scholar ~ ITIS ~ IUCN RedList (Threatened Status) ~ Marine Species Identification Portal ~ NCBI (PubMed, GenBank, etc.) ~ Ocean Biogeographic Information System ~ PLOS ~ SIRIS ~ Tree of Life Web Project ~ UNEP-WCMC Species Database ~ WoRMS

Search for Arnoux's Beaked Whales » ARKive ~ Ask.com ~ Bing ~ dmoz ~ Flickr ~ Google ~ OceanFootage ~ Picsearch ~ Wikipedia ~ Yahoo! Images ~ YouTube

Feedback & Citation

Start or join a discussion about this species below or send us an email to report any errors or submit suggestions for this page. We greatly appreciate all feedback!


~^~ surface

Help Protect and Restore Ocean Life

Help us protect and restore marine life by supporting our various online community-centered marine conservation projects that are effectively sharing the wonders of the ocean with millions each year around the world, raising a balanced awareness of the increasingly troubling and often very complex marine conservation issues that affect marine life and ourselves directly, providing support to marine conservation groups on the frontlines that are making real differences today, and the scientists, teachers and students involved in the marine life sciences. Join us today or show your support with a monthly donation.

With your support, most marine life and their ocean habitats can be protected, if not restored to their former natural levels of biodiversity. We sincerely thank our thousands of members, donors and sponsors, who have decided to get involved and support the MarineBio Conservation Society.