15 Fin-tastic Facts About The Pygmy Beaked Whale For Kids

Here are pygmy beaked whale facts about this rare aquatic creature.

Have you ever heard of a pygmy beaked whale (Mesoplodon Peruvianus)? A pygmy beaked whale is a recent discovery and was discovered in Peru in 1991. It is the smallest species of Mesoplondon. They make rare appearances and prefer to be in deeper parts of the oceans in the regions of Central and South America. Beaked whales prefer to live in warm tropical climates. They have different types of teeth. This species is also known as the lesser beaked whale, Peruvian beaked whale, or beaked whale as well.

Curious to know more about it? Here are some fun, engaging, and interesting facts about the Peruvian beaked whale that will make you keener about them. You may also look at leopard seal facts and dusky dolphins facts at Kidadl.

Pygmy Beaked Whale

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Squids, smaller fish species, shrimps

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

2425 lb (1099.9 kg)

How long are they?

145.6 in (369.8 cm)

How tall are they?

11-12 ft. (3.3-3.6 m)

What do they look like?

Dark gray

Skin Type

Soft, and smooth skin

What are their main threats?

Killer whales, and driftnet fishery

What is their conservation status?

Not Evaluated

Where you'll find them

Tropical; marine or saltwater


Tropical Pacific region





Scientific Name

Mesoplodon peruvianus





Pygmy Beaked Whale Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a pygmy beaked whale?

A pygmy beaked whale, mesoplodon peruvianus, is the smallest species of Mesoplodon genus. They're recently discovered in Peru in 1991. They make a rare appearance on the surface of the ocean and mostly prefer deep waters and have a small dorsal fin with a different set of teeth. These whales are also known as Peruvian beaked whale, lesser beaked whale, or bandolero beaked whale. Their behavior is not known properly because of their rare encounters.

What class of animal does a pygmy beaked whale belong to?

A pygmy beaked whale, mesoplodon peruvianus (Reyes, Mead and Van Waerebeek, 1991) is a whale that belongs to the mammalian class due to its ability to give birth to young ones. They come under the Artiodactyla order of the Ziiphidae family. The scientific name is mesoplodon peruvianus. They are the smallest among the mesoplodon genus and the species name is M. peruvianus. A pygmy beaked whale is different from a dolphin.

How many pygmy beaked whales are there in the world?

There is no accurate information available regarding the total number of pygmy beaked whales in the world. Their population is known to be stable.

Where does a pygmy beaked whale live?

Pygmy beaked whale, also known as a lesser beaked whale, lives in oceans. They are found in the mid to deep water off the Peruvian Coast. They are also seen in the tropical Pacific region. One specimen was spotted in New Zealand, Chile, and Monterey Bay.

What is a Pygmy Beaked Whale's habitat?

A pygmy beaked whale (Mesoplodon peruvianus) prefers mid-deep waters to deep waters and makes rare appearances on the surface of the ocean. They are also spotted in the eastern Pacific Ocean between California and Peru.

Who does Pygmy Beaked Whale live with?

Pygmy beaked whales (M. Peruvianus) are social animals and are mostly seen in pairs or with small groups.

How long does a pygmy beaked whale live?

A pygmy beaked whale (Mesoplodon peruvianus) has an average lifespan of 30 - 70 years. This may vary depending upon their habitat and diet.

How do they reproduce?

A pygmy beaked whale, also known as a lesser beaked whale, is dioecious. Further details around their breeding habits are not known as they are difficult to be identified and spotted.

What is their conservation status?

A pygmy beaked whale status is Not Evaluated on the IUCN Red list as they are data deficient, which means information available regarding their population is not adequate at present. Their sightings are rare and are found near Baja California, Mexico, and Central American regions. There is no sufficient information available to determine the threat of this species. But as per information available, they do face considerable threats from uncontrolled driftnet fishery practices.

Pygmy Beaked Whale Fun Facts

What do pygmy beaked whales look like?

A pygmy beaked whale is one of the smallest species of Mesoplodon whales. The body of this whale is robust and different from the body of other whales. The beak of a pygmy beaked whale is narrowed compared to other beaked whales and has got a thicker tail. They are dark gray in color, and the lower part of the body is light blue or white in color and has a small dorsal fin that is seen on whale's backs. Adult males have two teeth protruding from the gum line behind the apex whereas female whales do not have any visible protruding teeth.

A pygmy beaked whale has a small dorsal fin.

How cute are they?

Pygmy beaked whale is the smallest species of the Mesoplodon genus and not easily spotted on the surface of the ocean. This species is not cute in appearance.

How do they communicate?

Pygmy beaked whales are social mammals and usually seen in groups. Their group is called pods. They communicate with each other by making noise for finding food and to find their other members.

How big is a pygmy beaked whale?

Pygmy beaked whale is the smallest species of Mesoplodon genus and has a length of 11-12 ft (3.3-3.6 m). They are much bigger than a dolphin.

How fast can a pygmy beaked whale move?

Pygmy beaked whales are deep divers. They move at a decent speed.

How much does a pygmy beaked whale weigh?

On an average scale, an adult pygmy beaked whale weighs around 2425 lb (1099.9 kg). It may vary depending on the habitat and food habits.

What are the male and female names of the species?

As a pygmy beaked whale is a whale, it is a species of m. peruvianus. A male pygmy beaked whale is called a bull and a female pygmy beaked whale is called a cow. The other names for these whales are lesser beaked whales, Peruvian beaked whales, and beaked whales.

What would you call a baby pygmy beaked whale?

A baby pygmy beaked whale is called a calf.

What do they eat?

Pygmy beaked whales are carnivores. They feed on squids, smaller fish species, and shrimps. The main predators of pygmy beaked whales are killer whales.

Are they poisonous?

Pygmy beaked whales are not poisonous but the level of mercury content will be comparatively high compared to other fishes.

Would they make a good pet?

A pygmy beaked whale is a deep sea fish that prefers deep waters and is not suitable for keeping as a pet. Mesoplodon peruvianus Reyes is very difficult to maintain and take care of as the living conditions are very difficult.

Did you know...

Pygmy Beaked Whales are vulnerable to noise pollution, which is one of the main threats to them. They are also sometimes caught in fishing nets thrown by commercial fisheries.

The Spade toothed whale, a species of the beaked whale, is the rarest whale in the world.

Alternate names for this species are lesser beaked whale, Peruvian beaked whale, or beaked whale.

How is a beaked whale different from a sperm whale?

Both a beaked whale and a sperm whale usually prefer similar habitats. A sperm whale prefers to be in warmer off shelf water whereas the beaked whale in colder shelf edge. A sperm fish contains a waxy substance that is used for making candles and oil lamps.

What are the other names of a pygmy beaked whale?

A pygmy beaked whale is also known as a bandolero beaked whale, a lesser beaked whale, and a Peruvian beaked whale.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these fin whale facts and bowhead whale facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable pygmy beaked whale coloring pages.



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