Gervais' Beaked Whale
Mesoplodon europaeus


Scientific Name: Mesoplodon europaeus

Other Names: Antillian Beaked Whale, European Beaked Whale, Gulf Stream Beaked Whale

Suborder: Odontoceti

Family: Ziphidae

Gervais' Beaked Whale is a medium-sized beaked whale which is rarely seen at sea. It has a narrow head with a mid-length beak and a small, often shark-like dorsal fin located three-quater way along its back. The flukes are slightly concave with no notch unlike the dolphins. Colouration is generally blue-grey to  dark grey and is lighter on the underside, often with scratches and circular scars on the body.

Little is known about their behaviour.

Maximum length
Adult: 4 -5.2m
Calf: 1.6 - 2.2m

Maximum weight
Adult: 1 - 2.6 tons
Calf: 80 kg

Gervais' Beaked Whale Ecology

Range:Tropical and warm temperate waters of the Altantic Ocean

Usual Habitat: Almost unknown

Usual group size: Unknown

Main Diet: Almost unknown

Local population: Unknown

Global range of the Gervais' Beaked Whale

Dark blue areas indicate where Gervais' Beaked Whales are likely to be found
 Conservation Information
Protection and Conservation Status

IUCN Conservation Status: 
Gervais' Beaked Whales are listed as "Data Deficient" on the IUCN red list.

SPAW Protocol:  Gervais' Beaked Whales are cetaceans, which are listed under Annex II of the SPAW protocol. As such they require total protection under article 11 of this protocol which prohibits the "taking, possession, killing and commercial trade of the species, their parts or products". The SPAW protocol was created to help with the implementation and promotion of the Ramsar Convention and the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Annexes of the SPAW protocol can be found here.

Local Laws: Cetaceans are protected under the Conservation of Wildlife Act of Trinidad and Tobago which offers protection to all species not listed under the second or third schedules of this act. 
Reports of Gervais' Beaked Whales in Trinidad and Tobago
This is currently being researched and written. It will appear here shortly.

The above information was obtained from the following sources:

  • A Princeton Field Guide: Whales Dolphins and Other Marine Mammals of the World by Hadoram Shirihai and Brett Jarrett (2006)
  • Smithsonian Handbooks: Whales Dolphins and Porpoises by Mark Carwardine and illustrated by Martin Camm (2002)
  • The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society's Species Guide at
  • The IUCN Redlist at
  • The SPAW protocol Annexes with links available at,83

We would like to thank the following people for the use of the art work and photographs:

  • Al√ęsha Naranjit (Illustration of Gervais' Beaked Whale)
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