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Ladies a gentlemen, I present to you:TRUE'S BEAKED WHALE!
And yes, this is about the point where you probably all go like 'wut'. But don't fear. Let me explain and introduce
True's beaked whale (Mesplodon mirus)
is a, like its name suggests, beaked whale. The family of the beaked whales, Ziphiidae, is the second largest family in the whole order of the whales, after that of the oceanic dolphins, Delphinidae. Beaked whales range from about four to almost fourteen
metres. They're cryptic, elusive and spend most of their time in the depths of the ocean. And when they do come to the surface they only take what they came for: a breath of air. Even though beaked whales may seem to differ significantly in colouration when seen completely and from the side, but they have proven to be very difficult to positively identify at sea. Most of what we know about them comes from stranded animals, living and dead.
What is characteristic of the beaked whales are the tusks in males, and the two throat grooves in both sexes. All species of beaked whales (except two) lack any functional teeht; females do have two teeth (the 'tusks' in males) but these do not erupt from the gum, and males only have those two tusks. They can be located at the tip of the beak, halfway, or somewhere inbetween. Beaked whales mainly eat squid, which they suck into their mouth. That's where the throat grooves come in. With a movement of their tongue and other muscles, beaked whales can increase the capacity of their mouth, creating a suction which pulls the prey in.
The species depicted are True's beaked whales. They were once thought to only occur in the North Atlantic, but not too long ago specimens have been found stranded in the Souther hemisphere too. Animals in the North are uniformly grey, often with a paler belly and sides (to some extent). Southern animals have a white tail, but are for the rest the same in colouration. The female depicted (bottom animal) is based on the description of a freshly stranded adult female.COPYRIGHT
All submissions in this gallery, be it photos, paintings or drawings, are copyrighted to me, Namu-the-orca. No one has the right to alter, distribute, copy or use (nor to claim it as your own) without my written permission unless stated otherwise. My submissions are NOT stock, unless I say so. All rights reserved. Art & photos (c) Namu-the-orca