Famlly: Ziphiidae (beaked whales)

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Species indigenous to southern Africa

Subfamily: Ziphiinae


Berardius arnuxii (Arnoux's beaked whale)

This rare whale is also known as the southern giant bottlenose whale or southern fourtooth whale. It is of a deep blue grey colour, has an average length of 9 metres and weighs around 6 400 kilograms. Little is known of them other than they tend not to form large groups and that they feed on squid and other mollusca.


Ziphius cavirostris (Cuvier's beaked whale)

These beaked whales are known for their extreme colour variation and patterning between individuals. Their colouration ranges from sienna to a dark browny blue, with older males known to have almost white heads. Adult males bears scars of a characteristic ‘double track’, that are made by other Cuvier’s whales. These whales are of medium length, around 6,5 metres, and weigh on average 3 000 kilograms.

Subfamily: Hyperoodontinae


Indopacetus pacificus (Longman's beaked whale)


Hyperoodon planifrons (Southern Bottlenose whale)

This is a melon headed beaked whale, whose length averages 7,5 metres and which weighs around 3 600 kilograms. It’s colouring is a deep blue grey. They tend to feed on molluscs. They are a rare and little known species of beaked whale.


Mesoplodon hectori (Hector's beaked whale)


Mesoplodon mirus (True's beaked whale)


Mesoplodon grayi (Gray's beaked whale)


Mesoplodon layardii (Strap-toothed beaked whale)


Mesoplodon densirostris (Blainville beaked whale)



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