Subject: Re: bottlenose whales
Thu, 13 Mar 1997 10:52:12 GMT+1200

I am a 5th grade student at McSwain School, Merced, Calif.U.S.A..
We are doing research on whales for Ocean Week. I am trying to find 
information on the bottlenose whale. Can you help me with any information 
you may have.

Dear Crissy,

Bottlenose whales are 'odontocetes' or toothed-whales.  There are two species of bottlenose 
whales, a northern one that lives in the North Atlantic and a southern bottlenose whale that 
lives only in the Southern Hemisphere.  Both have similar features, a long tube-like snout 
that gives them their name, a small fin on their backs, and their flippers are small and 

The northern bottlenose whale is black or brown while the southern ones are light brown or 
yellowish in colour.  The northern bottlenose whale is larger than its southern counterpart.  
Males can grow up to 32 ft in length and females up to 28 ft or so while the maximum size 
for southern bottlenose whales is about 25 ft.

Both species of  bottlenose whales are found in deep waters. Their favorite food is squid 
but they also eat fish, starfish and prawns. The northern bottlenose whale is quite curious 
and approaches boats and is fairly wellknown.  Scientists study them off the coasts of 
Newfoundland and California but the southern bottlenose whale is rarely observed at sea and 
poorly studied.  

There are a number of good books on cetaceans you may want to look up at the library.

I recommend the Sierra Club Handbook of Whales and Dolphins by Leatherwood, S,  Reeves,R.R., 
and Foster, L. (1983). Sierra Club Books, San Francisco California

or the Natural History of Whales and Dolphins by P.G. H. Evans (1987). Christopher Helm 
(Publishers) Ltd., Imperial House, London.

Nathalie Patenaude