beaked whale


Definition of beaked whale

: any of a family (Ziphiidae) of toothed whales that have a relatively long, narrow snout suggestive of a beak, that in the males often have a large bulging forehead, and that unlike other whales lack a notch on the fluke

Note: Beaked whales lack teeth in the upper jaw. Typically, female beaked whales also lack functional teeth in the lower jaw while male whales have one to two pairs of small tusklike teeth in the lower jaw. Beaked whales feed chiefly on deepwater squid.

Examples of beaked whale in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An extremely rare beaked whale was found washed up on a beach at Point Reyes National Seashore this week, prompting animated excitement among normally self-possessed marine scientists. Peter Fimrite,, "Rare Hubbs’ beaked whale found washed ashore, deceased, at Point Reyes," 20 Aug. 2019 Scientists have announced the discovery of a new species of beaked whale in the waters off the Japanese coast. Fox News, "New species of whale discovered on the Japanese coast," 7 Sep. 2019 There are 22 species that make up the diverse beaked whale family. Adrian Rodriguez, The Mercury News, "Suspected rare Hubbs’ beaked whale dead at Point Reyes National Seashore," 22 Aug. 2019 But the world’s most elusive cetacean, the beaked whale, has been documented making similar marks elsewhere, for reasons unknown. Todd Woody, National Geographic, "Do we know enough about the deep sea to mine it?," 24 July 2019 One night last month, two dead beaked whales washed up just outside the tiny village of Praia do Tofo. Craig Welch, National Geographic, "More people are eating marine animals—with deadly results," 22 May 2019 In March, a Cuvier’s beaked whale, a species that can dive deeper and hold its breath longer than any other marine mammal, washed up dead in the Philippines with eighty-eight pounds of plastic in its body. Carolyn Kormann, The New Yorker, "Where Does All the Plastic Go?," 16 Sep. 2019 It is also known that beaked whales are sensitive to noise, especially sonar. Adrian Rodriguez, The Mercury News, "Suspected rare Hubbs’ beaked whale dead at Point Reyes National Seashore," 22 Aug. 2019 The ships will spend much of the summer hunting for minke and Baird's beaked whales, Reuters reported. NBC News, "Japan resumes commercial whaling after three decades," 1 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beaked whale.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of beaked whale

1755, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of beaked whale was in 1755

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Cite this Entry

“Beaked whale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2020.

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