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PWS Fire Update - Friday 15 February 2019

15/02/2019

Parks and Wildlife Tasmania (PWS) can advise the following locations, reserves and tracks have been re-opened today (Friday 15 February).More

PWS Fire Update - Thursday 14 February 2019

14/02/2019

Parks and Wildlife Tasmania (PWS) can advise the following locations, reserves and tracks have been re-opened.More

PWS Fire Update - Monday 11 February 2019

11/02/2019

As a result of the emergency service suppression efforts and calmer weather conditions over recent days, PWS can advise the following changes to track openings and closures.More

Strap-toothed Beaked Whale

Strap-toothed Beaked Whale(Drawing by Graham Sanders) 
The Strap-toothed Beaked Whale is rarely seen, as this is an open-ocean species. It can be identified by its small melon shaped head which has a grey band behind and joins with a light grey band on the dorsal surface. Smaller than Cuviers Beaked Whales, Strap-toothed Beaked Whales reach about 6 m in length and weigh up to 2 ton. Males have a pair of long, strap-shaped teeth (tusks) in the lower jaw that prevent them fully opening their mouths as they curl backward and inward. They are known to bask on calm, sunny days and sink slowly below the surface. They do not generally show their flukes on diving, which lasts at least 10 minutes. They are generally black/grey in colour, some with a brownish tinge and white underside. They have a white throat-patch which extends behind the eye and blends with a lighter grey on the dorsal surface. In other characteristics they are similar to other beaked whales with a slender body and long dolphin-like beak, triangular tail fluke and small sickle-shaped dorsal fin.

General Information

Distribution map of sightings and strandings (click to enlarge)
They are generally solitary but can be found in groups of up to three. They reach sexually maturity at around 5 years and can live up to 40 years. They are an open-ocean species that hunt mainly squid.

Stranding Information

The Strap-toothed Beaked Whale is Australia’s most common beaked whale to strand with over 70 recorded events. In most cases they are found singly stranded and dead but in a few cases there have been more than one animal involved. South Australia and Tasmania have the most incidents with around 30 standing events each.