Illustrations by

© M.Würtz/

Cuvier’s beaked whale

Ziphius cavirostris

Zifio | Cuvier’s beaked whale

Odontocetes belonging to the Ziphidae family. He too, an exponent of the deep divers: able to perform long apnoea and reach high depths in search of cephalopods. He prefers deep pelagic waters (>600m), escarpment and with underwater canyons.

Features: siluriform and stocky body, with a very variable coloration, from grey to brownish. With the advance of the age the body comes marked many scratches deriving from intraspecific interactions. Although it is a dentist, the teeth do not come out of the jaws, only the adult male has two teeth in the front part of the jaw. The dorsal fin is low, triangular and slightly stripped. From the crescent-moon blowhole comes out a breath not particularly dense.

Max Lenght: 5-6 m

Max Weight: 3 tons

Longevity: 35-40 yrs

Max Dive Time: on average 60 minutes; max ever recorded 138 min.

Max Dive Depth: – 3000 m

Speed: around 10 km/h

Food Diet: cephalopods

IUCN Red List: DD – Data Deficient

Threats: noise pollution