Beaked whales typically range in size from 15 to 35 feet (4.5 to 10.5 m) in length and weigh between 1 and 8 tons (0.9 to 7.3 metric tonnes). They have a long and narrow head with a small, hooked dorsal fin. They have a unique feature called a “beak” which is a small, protruding snout.
They have a dark coloration, often with lighter areas on the belly. They have a unique feature called a “melon” which is a fatty organ that can change shape and is used for echolocation.
Beaked whales are found in deep-sea waters worldwide and are known to inhabit both coastal and offshore areas. They are typically found in cold and temperate waters, but some species have been observed in tropical waters as well.
They are known to prefer deep waters, often diving to depths of over 6,500 feet (2,000 m), and they are typically found in areas with a deep ocean floor and steep underwater cliffs. Beaked whales are known to be more common in areas where the seafloor drops off quickly, and they are typically found in waters with a depth greater than 2,000 meters.
They are typically found in the open ocean, but some species have been observed in coastal areas such as bays, estuaries, and lagoons. They are also found in deep waters of the Arctic, Antarctic and in the Mediterranean sea.
Beaked whales primarily feed on deep-sea squid and fish, but their diet also includes other deep-sea creatures such as octopus, cuttlefish, and deep-sea shrimp.
Beaked whales are known for their elusive behavior and deep-sea habitat which makes them one of the least known and most difficult to study groups of whales. They are known to be deep divers, often diving to depths of over 6,500 feet (2,000 m) for up to an hour at a time, which makes it challenging to observe them.
Beaked whales are also known for their vocalizations, which are a series of clicks and whistles that they use for communication and echolocation. They are known to have different vocalization patterns for different activities such as mating, foraging, and socializing.
Beaked whales are also known to exhibit a behavior called “stranding” where they beach themselves on shore. This behavior is not well understood, but it is believed to be related to their deep diving and pressure sensitivity, and it has been observed in several species of beaked whales.
Beaked whales are known to be solitary creatures and typically found in small groups. They are also known to be opportunistic feeders and will consume whatever prey is most abundant in their habitat.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed the conservation status of several species of beaked whales, and some of them are considered endangered or vulnerable. For example, the North Atlantic right whale beaked whale is considered critically endangered, the Gervais’ beaked whale is considered endangered, and the True’s beaked whale is considered vulnerable.
However, it’s worth noting that the majority of beaked whale species haven’t been evaluated by the IUCN yet, and their conservation status is considered “Data Deficient” which means there is not enough information to make a proper assessment.