Fishin' for Facts: Bottlenose Whales
Common name: Bottlenose WhalesSize
Scientific name: Family Ziphiidae:
Northern Bottlenose Whale: Hyperoodon ampullatus
Southern Bottlenose Whale: Hyperoodon planiforms
|Northern Bottlenose Whale
Size: 33 ft (9.8 m)
Weight: several tons
Calf size: 11.5 ft. (3.5 to 3.6m)
|Southern Bottlenose Whales Size
Size: females up to 7.5 m (25 feet)
males 7 m (23 feet).
|Fun fact: (or is that "fin" fact?)|
The bottlenose whale's dorsal fin can be up to 30 cm high (about 12 inches). Ooh la la what measurements! A bottlenose whale's girth (measurement around the middle) can be 6 meters (19.6 feet).
|What do they eat?|
Planning a dinner party for a bottlenose whale? You might want to have squid, pelagic (open ocean) fish such as herring, maybe even a sea star (starfish) or two.
Bottlenose Whales Highlights
Bottlenose whales are deep divers and they like to hang out deep in the sea. In fact they are seldom found in water shallower than 100 fathoms (That's 183 m or 600 ft). You could find a bottlenose whale in water 1,000 m (3,200 ft) or deeper. They've been known to stay submerged for as long as an hour.
Maybe because they don't have any *significant predators, bottlenose whales have a total lack of concern or fear of approaching boats. Back in the whaling days, this caused them to be easily hunted. (*When you're that big, not many animals are bold enough or strong enough to hunt you!)
There are many myths about whales, but one that is true with this species is how protective they are. It's recorded that bottlenose whales would not leave a hurt pod member - even at the risk of their own safety. This made it easy for hunters to annihilate nearly the entire pod before any of them would finally dive to safety.
What color is a northern bottlenose whale? A calf is chocolate brown when it is born. As it gets older, its back (dorsal side) stays brown but its sides lighten in color. It has irregular patches of grayish-white. Both male and female are a "cloud-gray" or bluish-black in color. Older, larger males often have white heads.
As with many large species, predation (being eaten by a predator) may be infrequent, but it may be hunted by killer whales. It is believed they live as long as 37 years.
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Citation: Musgrave, R.A. Bottlenose Whales. Fishin' for Facts. WhaleTimes, Inc. (whaletimes.org) 2011
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