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A first confirmed specimen record in Chile, and sightings attributed to the lesser beaked whale Mesoplodon peruvianus Reyes, Mead and Van Waerebeek, 1991
Sanino, G.P.; Yáñez, J.L.; Van Waerebeek, K. (2007). A first confirmed specimen record in Chile, and sightings attributed to the lesser beaked whale Mesoplodon peruvianus Reyes, Mead and Van Waerebeek, 1991. Bol. Mus. Nac. Hist. Nat. (Chile) 56: 89-96
In: Boletín. Museo Nacional de Historia Natural (Chile). Museo Nacional de Historia Natural: Santiago. ISSN 0027-3910, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Mesoplodon peruvianus Reyes, Mead & Van Waerebeek, 1991 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Beaked whale, Mesoplodon peruvianus, Distribution, Cranial characteristics, Direct catch, Chile

Authors  Top 
  • Sanino, G.P.
  • Yáñez, J.L.
  • Van Waerebeek, K., more

Abstract
    Three sightings, totalling five small-sized beaked whales recorded off north-central Chile (ca. 29°S) in February 1998, two between Punta Zorros and Damas Island and one south of Choros Island, were attributed to Mesoplodon peruvianus. A ca. 1m neonate was observed for the first time. The occurrence of lesser beaked whales in shallow water habitat (20-70m depth) is unusual in the Family Ziphiidae. On 17 December 1997, during the IWC 3rd Blue Whale Survey off Chile, researchers (including two of the authors) assigned another beaked whale sighting at 20°26’S, 70°44’W, in deeper water (878-1245m), as a probable M. peruvianus. All individuals shared the following characteristics: small body size, short snout, nondescript dark colouration dorsally and a low, markedly triangular dorsal fin.An adult beaked whale skull (specimen GPS004) was collected at Los Choros beach (29°17.04’S, 71°23.54’W) in May 1995. Diagnostic cranial characteristics, including i.a. lateral maxillary excrescences on the distal rostrum, identified it as the first confirmed record of M. peruvianus in Chile. The specimen and probable sighting records extend the species’ known distribution range 14° latitude farther south in the Eastern Pacific. Evidence of two bullets shot through the head of GPS004 raises the issue of direct catches of small cetaceans in the area.

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