Brief Note

Sightings of beaked whales (Cetacea: Ziphiidae) including first confirmed Cuvier's beaked whales Ziphius cavirostris from Angola


Abstract

The distribution of beaked whales off the west coast of Africa in the South-East Atlantic Ocean is poorly known. A total of eight beaked whale (Cetacea: Ziphiidae) sightings was recorded off Angola between March 2004 and September 2005. At least one sighting was positively identified as Cuvier's beaked whale Ziphius cavirostris, and the seven further sightings were Ziphius or Mesoplodon beaked whales. Groups comprised between one and three animals, and were observed at between 1 477m and 2 250m (mean = 1 837m) water depth. These records appear to include the first confir-med sighting of Cuvier's beaked whales in Angolan waters, and add to knowledge of the occurrence of beaked whales off West Africa.

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