Mesoplodon carlhubbsi

Moore, 1963 - Hubbs' beaked whale

Distinctive Characteristics

Adult males of this species are more readily identifiable than individuals of most other species of Mesoplodon. They have a white rostrum and white “cap” in front of the blowhole. Females and young are much more difficult to identify.

Males also have a massive flattened tusk in the middle of each side of the lower jaw, which protrudes above the level of the upper jaw.

Can be confused with

The white cap and beak tip, and large tusks may allow bulls of this species to be distinguished from other species of Mesoplodon.


Maximum known size is 5.3 m for both sexes. Weights of over 1400 kg are attained. Newborns are about 2.5 m long.

Geographical Distribution

Apparently limited to the North Pacific, Hubbs' beaked whale is known from central British Columbia to southern California in the east, and from Japan in the west. It is an oceanic species.

Biology and Behaviour

Very little is known about the biology of this species. The long, white, parallel scratches on the bodies of males are thought to be caused by closed-mouth fighting in this and other species of Mesoplodon. Hubbs' beaked whales feed on squid and some deepwater fishes.


Some Hubbs' beaked whales have been taken by harpoon off Japan.

IUCN Status

Insufficiently known.