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Northern Bottlenose Whale

Northern Bottlenose Whale
Latin Name

Hyperoodon ampullatus

Group Name

Marine Mammals

Taxonomy details


The Scotian Shelf population of bottlenose whales lives in relatively small deep water areas at the entrance to prominent underwater canyons-such The Gully-off the southeast coast of Nova Scotia. The whales rarely inhabit waters less than 800 metres deep. In the offshore waters of Atlantic Canada, there are several known centres of abundance of northern bottlenose whales - on the edge of the Scotian Shelf and the Davis Strait, off Labrador. The Scotian Shelf population is distinct from the Labrador population.

Species Description

A medium-sized whale, the northern bottlenose grows to between six and nine metres in length, and weighs between six and eight tonnes. The whale's bulbous forehead sits above a distinctive beak, with the lower jaw extending slightly further than the upper. Male whales generally have much larger but flatter foreheads than females; males also have teeth, which in females rarely erupt through the gums.

Young bottlenose whales are dark brown to black in colour; older whales are light to yellowish brown with whitish beaks and foreheads. Occasionally, old males can become entirely yellow-white to grey.

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