SHEPHERD’S BEAKED WHALE – Tasmacetus shepherdi


Shepherd’s beaked whale facts: Shepherd’s beaked whale, also called the Tasman beaked whale, has not been well studied. What is known about it comes mainly from about twenty stranded whales that have been found in various places in the Southern Hemisphere.

Shepherd’s beaked whale is the only whale in this family to have more than half a dozen teeth, It has about 90 to 100 small peg-like teeth in both the upper and lower jaw. Two teeth in the lower jaw of males develop into tusks. Shepherd’s beaked whale is about 23 feet (7 meters) long. It has a dark brown or gray back, two light stripes along its side and a light cream-colored belly.

Geographic range: These whales are found in temperate (moderate) water from Chile to South Africa to New Zealand.

Shepherd’s beaked whale habitat: Shepherd’s beaked whale lives in deep water in open ocean.

What does shepherd’s beaked whale eat: Unlike other members of this family that eat squid, the Shepherd’s beaked whale appears to eat mainly fish.

Behavior and reproduction: This whale was not discovered until 1937. It is very rare. Almost nothing is known about its behavior or reproduction.

Shepherd’s beaked whale and people: There have been only about half a dozen sightings of this whale outside of strandings.

Conservation status: Not enough information is available to give this whale a conservation ranking, although the absence of sightings suggests that it is rare.