Journal of Marine Biology & Oceanography ISSN: 2324-8661

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Research Article, J Mar Biol Oceanogr Vol: 7 Issue: 4

The Lesser Beaked Whale Mesoplodon peruvianus Reyes, Mead & Van Waerebeek 1991 Revisited, with Biological Observations on New Specimens from Peru

Julio C Reyes1* and Koen Van Waerebeek2

1Areas Costeras y Recursos Marinos (ACOREMA), Calle San Francisco 253, 201-B, Pisco, Peru

2Peruvian Centre for Cetacean Research/Centro Peruano de Estudios Cetológicos (CEPEC), Museo de Delfines, Lima 20, Peru

*Corresponding Author : Julio C Reyes
Areas Costeras y Recursos Marinos (ACOREMA), Calle San Francisco 253, 201-B, Pisco, Peru
E-mail: [email protected]

Received: August 08, 2018 Accepted: September 12, 2018 Published: September 18, 2018

Citation: Reyes JC, Van Waerebeek K (2018) The Lesser Beaked Whale Mesoplodon peruvianus Reyes, Mead & Van Waerebeek 1991 Revisited, with Biological Observations on New Specimens from Peru. J Mar Biol Oceanogr 7:4. doi: 10.4172/2324-8661.1000197

Abstract

The Lesser Beaked Whale Mesoplodon peruvianus Reyes, Mead & Van Waerebeek 1991 Revisited, with Biological Observations on New Specimens from Peru

Despite three decades since its discovery, information on the biology of Mesoplodon peruvianus remains scant. Adding 46% to the global specimen catalog (presently N=36) we document 10 new specimens plus one tentative case, all from Peru, augmenting knowledge about its natural history. Enhanced samples substantiate initial insights of morphological features. High values for girth at axillae, girth halfway from anus to flukes and maximum flipper width, and low values for dorsal fin height and distance from the tip of the rostrum to dorsal fin contain diagnostic value among Mesoplodon spp. Adults exhibit pronounced sexual dimorphism. Lateral excrescences of the maxillae on the distal rostrum, a raised jawline, two mandibular teeth protruding above gum level, extensive tooth scarring of skin and a broad white swath across anterior body are exclusive to adult males. Dimorphic also is the degree and direction of vomeral proliferation in the mesorostral canal. Atlas, axis and 3rd cervical vertebrae ankylose in adults. Colouration consists of a basic counter-shading pattern in juveniles, females and subadult males. Fully adult males show a bold white swath, although significant individual and geographic variation may occur. Apparent high density zones include Peru's continental slope/shelf waters (ca. 60% of known specimens), the Eastern Tropical Pacific and the Gulf of California. The latitudinal reach is at least from 42°31'S to 36°47'N. In Peru, by-catches and sightings were recorded predominantly in late spring and early summer. M. peruvianus is the only mesoplodont frequently captured in smallscale coastal fisheries. Phyllobothrium delphini and Tetrabothrius forsteri (Cestoda) and Campula sp. (Trematoda) are new host records. Stomach contents included squid beaks (i.a. Gonatus sp., Teuthowenia megalops, and Histioteuthis sp.), unidentified fish otoliths and vertebrae, as well as the crustaceans Acanthephyra sp. and an unidentified gammarid.

Keywords: Ziphiidae; Peruvian beaked whale; Pygmy beaked whale; Pacific Ocean; Bycatch; External morphometrics; Colouration pattern; Osteology; Reproduction; Feeding; Parasites

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