Cuvier’s beaked whales are known as the deepest diving mammals. However, not much is known about their behavior since they spend most of their time out in the ocean and at deep ocean depths.
A study led by researchers from Duke University has provided the first detailed records of how these Cuvier’s beaked whales behave in the Atlantic Ocean near the U.S. coasts.
By tagging these whales, researcher recorded almost 6,000 dives by Cuvier’s beaked whales off Cape Hatteras, N.C.
The findings were interesting.
Cuvier’s beaked whales dive on the average about 1,400 meters (almost a mile, or 0.87 mile) while they feed near the sea floor.
Also, they only spend about two minutes on the surface between dives.
“It’s amazing that they can dive to such depths, withstand the pressure, and be down there that long, with such brief recovery times,” the researchers said.
Researchers still are not sure how Cuvier’s beaked whales dive to search great depths while spending such brief time surfacing. They are not sure how these whales’ mammalian physiology are able to cope with such extreme diving depths and duration.
“Cuvier’s beaked whales are only half the size of the sperm whale,” the researchers said. “Their dives push the limits of mammalian physiology, but we still don’t know how they’re able to behave this way.”