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True’s Beaked Whale


Scientific name: Mesoplodon mirus .
Order: Artiodactyla.
Family: Ziphiidae.
Genus: Mesolpodon.

IUCN Status

Least concern.


Small species of whale that are greyish blue in colour, and the males tend to have scars and scratches on them from fighting. They have a small triangular sickle shaped dorsal fin that is set 2/3 of the way back to the tail, and a medium-length beak. Males can grow to lengths of up to 5.3 meters and females can grow to lengths of up to 5.4 meters.

Habitat and distribution

True’s beaked whales have been seen in colder temperate waters and are generally not encountered with 30 degrees north or south of the equator. As they are very rarely seen, little is known about their distribution, but they have been spotted in the Bay of Biscay.


Not much is known about this species as they have only been seen a few times. However, they have been seen breaking the surface at an angle, beak first. They tend to be seen in pairs or singerly. Scars and scratches on the skin suggests that males engage in fights.

Confusion with other species

As they are not often seen, it is not yet determined how to identify them from other species unless a clear view of them can be seen.


True’s beaked whales are threatened by noise pollution from the use of sonars, entanglement in fishing gear, and pollution of the seas.

Interesting facts

True’s beaked whales have flipper pockets meaning they can tuck their flippers in to make them more streamlined when diving underwater.

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