On our Stenella trip this afternoon, we spotted the rare Cuvier’s Beaked whales. At first, they were quite shy, and they dove down several times. But our patience and waiting were rewarded: one animals jumped out of the water right in front of our bow! Several more swam very close to our boat.
Cuvier’s Beaked whales are truly deep divers. These whales have exceptional diving capabilities, and even hold the mammalian dive record. Scientists have recorded dives up to 2,992 m depth and lasting over 2 hours and 10 minutes. Cuvier’s beaked whales thereby beat the southern elephant seal (2,388 m depth for two hours) and even the sperm whale (2,250 m). The water pressure at these depths is immense. Whales have many adaptations to help them withstand these pressures, including flexible ribcages, allowing the ribs to collapse, rather than break, when pressure rises.
by Judith Kok
15.00: Cuvier’s Beaked Whales
15.00: No sightings