Northern Bottlenose - Barrelhead


barrelhead

 

The Northern bottlenose whale is called the “barrelhead” by the Norwegians for its enormous forehead. They are widely distributed in the North Atlantic from the edges of Arctic ice down to Cape Verde, off of Africa, and west to New York. Along with its large bulbous forehead it has a sturdy, thick body, fairly large for a beaked whale at 24-33 ft (7-10 m) long. They are gray and could be mistaken for dolphins except they are much larger and their bulbous forehead gives them away. They eat mostly squid but sometimes herring and starfish as well. They only have two teeth but the teeth are not used for much. The whales charismatic characters that like to play on the water surface, breaching and flopping around.

 

 

bottlenose fun sun

 

breaching barrelhead

 

It is believed that this whale can dive deeper than any other whale and for sure it can remain underwater for longer than any other mammal – up to an hour or more. They're pretty social marine mammals and hang out in groups of 4 to 10 individuals made up of one male, several females and some young. Since they have been commercially hunted starting just before 1900 their populations have been severely depleted. Commercial whaling has for the most part stopped, apart from a few island locations, so the populations may have a chance to rise again.

 

northern bottlenose

 

 

 

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