Quick Facts
Length ? (prob. 5m) Distribution Skulls known from New Zealand and Juan Fernandez islands (Chile).
Weight ? (prob. 1 ton) Identification Unknown, but large swept back teeth should be distinctive in adult males.
Diet ? (prob, deep sea squid and fish) Threats ?
Group size ?  

Mesoplodon traversii is perhaps the least known of all the cetaceans, and ranks as one of the least known mammals in the world. Currently it is only known from three skulls and has never been seen in the flesh. Of the three known specimens two have been found in New Zealand and one on the Juan Fernandez islands, off the coast of Chile, implying that this is a species mainly found in the southern Pacific region. The Juan Fernández specimen was originally described as a new species in 1995 - Mesoplodon bahamodi, but subsequent genetic analysis showed it to be the same species as the New Zealand specimens described a century before, but then forgotten and misidentified until 2002.

Key references;

Reyes, J. C., K. Van Waerebeek, J. C. Cárdenas and J. L. Yañez. 1995. Mesoplodon bahamondi sp.n. (Cetacea, Ziphiidae), a new living beaked whale from the Juan Fernández Archipelago, Chile. Boletin del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Chile 45:31–44.

van Helden, A.L., Baker, A.N., Dalebout, M.L., Reyes, J.C., van Waerebeek, K. and Baker, C.S. 2002. Resurrection of Mesoplodon traversii (Gray, 1874), senior synonym of M. bahamodi Reyes, van Waerebeek, Cardenas and Yanewz, 1995 (Cetacean: Ziphiidae). Marine Mammal Science, 18: 609 - 621.


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