T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Whale (Southern bottlenose whale) Hyperoodon planifrons

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Infraorder: Cetacea
Family: Ziphiidae
Genus: Hyperoodon
Species: H. planifrons
Binomial name: Hyperoodon planifrons
Common name: Southern bottlenose whale, Flatheaded Bottlenose Whale

The southern bottlenose whale has a circumpolar distribution in the Southern Ocean. It is found as far south as the Antarctic coast and as far north as the tip of South Africa, New Zealand's North Island and the southern parts of Brazil. The global population is unknown. This species is seldom observed. They are found in waters over 1,000 meters deep.

The southern bottlenose whale is fairly rotund and measures 8 m in length when physically mature. The melon is extremely bluff. The beak is long and white on males but grey in females. The dorsal fin is relatively small at 30–38 cm, set behind the middle of the back and is falcate (sickle-shaped), and it is usually pointed. This whale's flippers are small, short, and also blunt-tipped. The male H. planifrons have one pair of short, conical teeth which are situated at the tip of the lower jaw. Teeth are not found in the upper jaw. The teeth of females are either smaller or do not emerge at all. Rows of vestigial teeth are often present in the lower and upper jaw. 
The blowhole blows forward. Southern bottlenose whales are a brownish-grey colour on the head, back, dorsal fin, flippers, and tail. This colour is paler on the belly, throat, and sides. However, colouration becomes lighter with age. 
They feed on mainly on squid and krill. 


Size comparison of an average human and a Southern bottlenose whale.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/