The most northern record of Gervais' beaked whale, Mesoplodon europaeus (Gervais, 1855), for the Southern Hemisphere

A. M. A. Martins, T. J. Alves, Jr., M. A. A. Furtado Neto, J. Lien

Abstract


This paper reports the most northern record of Mesoplodon europaeus for the southern hemisphere based on a specimen of beaked whale that stranded on Bitupitá Beach (02°53'94"S; 41°16'41"W), on the northeastern coast of Brazil, on 23 November 2001. Identification of this individual was based on the position of the two mandibular teeth in the lower jaw. The teeth were flattened laterally, embedded in the lower jaw at the mandibular symphysis, and located posterior to the middle of the jaw. Until recently, the distribution of this species was considered limited to the northern hemisphere of the Atlantic Ocean, based on the occurrence of stranding events and sightings. The presence of M. europaeus at lower latitudes in the southern hemisphere, and the relatively fresh condition of this carcass suggest the possible existence of a broad two-hemisphere distribution the Atlantic Ocean.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5597/lajam00059

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