Ziphius cavirostris - Ziphius ou Baleine à bec de Cuvier - Zifio - Cuvier’s beaked whale, goose-beaked whale
Illustration © M. Würtz. Musée océanographique de Monaco, Fondation Albert Ier

Cuvier’s beaked whales are odontocetes that measure around 6 m long and can on the average weigh from 2 to 3 tons. They live in the high seas, often near underwater canyons. Solitary creatures, they are sometimes seen in small groups. The species is well represented in the Mediterranean, but their withdrawn nature makes them difficult to observe. They feed on cephalopods and bathypelagic fish.

Threats to the species

The main threats to the species are marine explosions and the use of particular sonar signals, which can disrupt the whales’ echolocation systems and lead to strandings. Natural predators (killer whales, sharks) also pose a threat to Cuvier’s beaked whales.