29.08.2018 – Superlative divers
Which cetacean specie can dive down to the greatest depth? – The award for the deepest and longest dive among all whale and dolphin species goes to the Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris)! In 2014 American scientists detected one animal in Californian waters reaching a depth of 2992 meters and staying under water for exactly 137,5 minutes. This is the absolute record dive among all marine mammals.
During two of our tours today, we had the pleasure to witness the record divers next to both of our vessels, the Stenella and the Ribeira Brava. While one of the impressive beaked whales showed a rarely observed behavior and jumped almost completely out of the water for a few times right in front of our zodiac, a group five animals came in very close to our traditional former fishing boat later in the afternoon.
The surrounding water pressure in the Cuvier’s beaked whales deep-sea hunting areas is over 250 times that at the surface. These animals are perfectly adapted to reach those abyssal habitats. Not even the gigantic Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), which we were lucky to encounter in the early morning, undertake such enormous dives.
by Jan-Christopher Fischer
Sightings of the day
09:00 Bottlenose dolphins, Sperm whales
12:00 Cuvier’s beaked whales
15:30 no sightings
17:00 Cuvier’s beaked whales