Mysterious beaked whale smashes mammal diving record
|bbc.com 24 Sep 2020 at 11:56|
Beaked whale species are a bit of mystery to scientists, spending much of their time far from shore.
The Cuvier s beaked whale has a stout body, a small sloping head and short beak. Males appear to have two teeth which they use for fighting, females don t seem to have any.
Image caption A group of three beaked whales
They normally hunt squid for food, usually sucking the creatures into their mouths to eat them.
Scientists say that in pursuing their favourite food, these whales have been documented diving down to around 3,000m.
When they surface they spend about two minutes before diving again, meaning it is very difficult for researchers to observe and tag them.
In 2014, one whale was recorded diving for just over two hours, the longest known time underwater.
In this latest study, researchers recorded more than 3,600 dives by two dozen Cuvier s beaked whales over a five-year period.
They recorded dives lasting from around half an hour to two hours thirteen minutes, well past the point at which an animal of this size should run out of oxygen.