Hector's beaked whale
By: Dagmar Fertl
Edited by: Poul Vendel
The word Mesoplodon is from the Greek mesos meaning "middle",
hopla meaning "arms" and odon meaning "tooth". These words in
combination roughly translates to "armed with a tooth in the middle of the
jaw". The Hector's beaked whale was also named after J. Hector, the curator of the
Colonial Museum in Wellington, New Zealand, where the type specimen for this
species was described and housed.
This beaked whale has a single pair of resonably small, flattened,
triangular teeth located near the tip of the lower jaw. These teeth are seen
only in the males. These are dark, grey-brown whales with light grey undersides
and scratches often covering the body.
The Hector's beaked whale can reach a maximum known length of 4,3 m.
Location in Africa:
The only records of the Hector's beaked whale is in the African waters off
the South African coast.
The Hector's beaked whale are mostly sighted in pairs and is known to feed on squid.
Human impacts in African waters are unknown.