Illusive Deep-Sea Divers

One of the most mysterious whales, beaked whales are probably the least studied marine mammals due to their apparent low population numbers and offshore deep-water habitat. Currently there are 22 named species, however, due to their illusive nature, scientists believe there are still some species yet to be discovered. The most frequently encountered include Cuvier’s, Baird’s, Stejneger’s, and Hubb’s beaked whales.

They have a world-wide distribution, depending on the species, and are found from tropical to temperate waters of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. They are usually found congregating in deep waters near continental shelves where some can dive as deep as 1,000 m (over 3,000 feet) to hunt for their favorite meal: squid. These animals are unique in the toothed whale family in that they only have a single pair of teeth used for mating rituals. To feed, they simply suck their food into their mouths and swallow it whole. If you dream of diving with beaked whales, explore the map below for dive sites where they have been seen.