Adult Male © Phil Coles

Quick Facts
Length 4.2m Distribution
Poorly known, but strandings scattered throughout the cool temperate southern hemisphere.
Weight ? Identification
Small beaked whale – moderate, slender beak and straight mouthline, in mature males large triangular teeth erupt close to the tip. Paler area behind head on otherwise dark grey upper body.
Diet Mostly deep sea squid and fish. Threats
Group size ?  

Reaching a maximum length of about 4.2m and weighing around 1 ton, Hector's is one the smallest of the beaked whales. It’s poorly known from a handful of stranded animals and descriptions have been confused by the fact that animals stranded in southern California were thought to represent this species. Recent work using analyses of DNA has shown these Northern Hemisphere animals represent a new species. Adult males have a pair of flattened, triangular teeth near the tip of the lower jaw. Identifying a young can be difficult but was recently accomplished using DNA scrapped from the skin of an animal swimming close to shore.
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