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Bairds Beaked Whale or Berardius bairdi are unique among toothed whales in that most species only have one pair of teeth. The teeth are tusk-like, but are only visible in males, which are presumed to use these teeth in combat for females for reproductive rights. In females, the teeth do not develop and remain hidden in the gum tissues.
The throats of all beaked whales have a bilaterally paired set of grooves that are associated with their unique feeding mechanism, suction feeding. Instead of capturing prey with their teeth, beaked whales suck it into their oral cavity. Suction is aided by the throat grooves, which stretch and expand to accommodate food. Their tongues can move very freely. By suddenly retracting the tongue and distending the gular (throat) floor, pressure immediately drops within the mouth, sucking the prey in with the water.
Dietary information is available from stomach contents analyses of stranded Bairds Beaked Whale or Berardius bairdi and from whaling operations. Their preferred diet is primarily deep water squid, but also benthic and benthopelagic fish and some crustaceans, mostly taken near the sea floor.
|Dimensions||59 × 31 × 20 in|
|Bairds Beaked Whale Facts||
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