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Beaked Whales: Ziphiidae


Beaked whales are good divers. Scientists believe that they feed on squid, fish, shrimp, and crabs that live on or near the ocean floor, because they have discovered these animals plus stones in the stomachs of dead beaked whales.

Beaked whales have well-developed melons and use echolocation to find and catch their prey. Echolocation involves making sounds or clicks that are then focused through the melon and skull. These to sounds bounce off objects. Sense organs pick up the echo or reflected sound and use information about its the timing, direction, and strength to determine the location of objects. This is particularly useful, since little sunlight penetrates to the depths where these animals feed.

Since beaked whales have few teeth, they feed by sucking in their food. They have up to six groves in their throat that can expand and along with their strong tongue suck prey into their mouth. These whales also have between four and fourteen chambers, or sections, to their stomach.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsBeaked Whales: Ziphiidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Beaked Whales And People, Northern Bottlenosed Whale (hyperoodon Ampullatus): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, CONSERVATION STATUS