Layard's Beaked Whale
marine life of Namibia
Introduction: Layards's beaked whale (Mesoplodon layardii) is also known as the strap-toothed whale or the long-toothed whale, so called because male specimens of the species have large and peculiar teeth, even for this genus. They have large straps, sometimes over 30cm long, which grow over the jaw at a 45 degree angle, nearly closing it. The teeth also have 'dorsally projecting denticles', a defence mechanism used for fighting. The beak itself is fairly long with a relatively straight mouth-line
Distribution: Namibian coastline from the southern border to Walvis Bay.
Diet: Mainly squid.
Colouring: A dark brownish-grey to black body, with a contrasting white beak and throat. As with many other species of whale, scars and cookie cutter shark bites are also present.
Breeding: Newborn calves may grow up to 2.8m in length.
Size: Overall length reaches to a maximum of 6m.
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