|Andrews Beaked Whale|
Andrews Beaked Whale also known as the Deep-crest Beaked Whale or the Splay-toothed Whale, is one of the most poorly known members of a poorly known genus. The species was not observed in the wild till 2008.
The species was first described in 1908 by the American scientist Roy Chapman Andrews from a specimen collected at New Brighton Beach, Canterbury Province, New Zealand in 1904. He named it in honour of George S. Bowdoin, a donor and trustee to the American Museum of Natural History.
The body of the Andrews Beaked Whale is rather robust in comparison with other members of the genus. The melon is rather low and the beak is short and thick. The lower jaw is fairly peculiar in that halfway through it rises up significantly with the teeth extending over the rostrum (beak). The head also sometimes has a light patch on the sides, more prominent in the males. The male, overall dark grey to black, has a lighter saddle marking between the blowhole and dorsal fin on its back. Males also carry scars typical of the genus. Females are slate grey with grayish-white flanks and belly. Cookie Cutter Shark bites are present in both genders. Females are beleived to reach at least 4.9 meters (16 feet) and males 4.5 metres (15 feet). The young are beleived to be around 2.2 meters long (7 feet) when born.
The calving season may be during summer and autumn off New Zealand. Otherwise, any behavior is completely unknown.
Population and distribution
Andrews Beaked Whales live in the Southern Hemisphere, and the precise range is uncertain. Some 35 stranded specimens have been recorded in Australia, New Zealand, Macquarie Island, The Falkland Islands and Tristan da Cunha. That range may imply a circumpolar distribution. However, there are no confirmed sightings to confirm this.
Andrews Beaked Whale have never been hunted, and there are no records of it being caught in fishing gear. In addition, Andrews Beaked Whale is coverd by the Memorandum of Understanding for the Conservation of Cetaceans and Their Habitats in the Pacific Islands Region.
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