Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Table of Contents
 Back Cover

Title: Marine mammals of the southeastern us coast and the Gulf of mexico
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Title: Marine mammals of the southeastern us coast and the Gulf of mexico
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front cover 1
        Front cover 2
    Front Matter
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Full Text

FWS/OBS 80/41
February 1981



David J. Schmidly
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences
Texas Agricultural Experiment Station
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas 77843

Contract No. 14-16-0009-79-951

Project Officer
David M. Smith
National Coastal Ecosystems Team
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
NASA-Slidell Computer Complex
1010 Gause Boulevard
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

This project was sponsored by the
Bureau of Land Management

In cooperation with
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Denver Wildlife Research Center
New Orleans Field Station
Belle Chasse, Louisiana 70037

Prepared for
Coastal Ecosystems Project
Office of Biological Services
Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Washington, D.C. .20240

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402

This report should be cited as follows:

Schmidly, David J. 1981. Marine mammals of the Southeastern United States
coast and the Gulf of Mexico. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Bio-
logical Services, Washington, D.C. FWS/OBS-80/41 163 pp.


This report is one of several resulting from a 1979 pilot study on the distri-
bution and abundance of marine birds, mammals, and turtles, and the endangered
manatee of the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. The report synthesizes all
available data on cetaceans and pinnipeds in the study area, including the
results of the 1979 aerial surveys conducted in the pilot study. The infor-
mation is presented in two sections: an analysis of observations section and
individual species accounts. The analysis of observations compares the fre-
quency of strandings, sightings, and captures for each species and for each
month. Analyses also include the frequency of strandings in different
sections of coastline and in different months. The species accounts present
distribution, abundance, status, seasonal movements, and life history informa-
tion for 35 species.

Suggestions or questions regarding this report or requests for copies should
be directed to the following:

Information Transfer Specialist
National Coastal Ecosystems Team
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
NASA-Slidell Computer Complex
1010 Gause Boulevard
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

PREFACE . . . . . . . . ... ............ iii

FIGURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v

TABLES . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . vii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . . . ... .. ..... . viii

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . ... . . . . 1

METHODS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Sources of Data . . . . . . . . ... ... . 1

Methods for Analysis of Data and Species Accounts . . . 5

ANALYSIS OF OBSERVATIONS . . . . . . . . ... ... 7

Strandings . . . . . . . ... . . . . 9

Sightings . . . . . . . ... . . . . 19

Captures . . . . . . . ... .. ...... 22

ACCOUNTS OF SPECIES . . . . . . . . ... ...... 37

Order Cetacea . . . . . . . ... ..... . 37

Family Balaenidae . . . . . . . . . 37

Family Balenopteridae . . . . . . . .... 40

Family Physeteridae . . . . . . . .... 58

Family Ziphiidae . . . . . . . . 72

Family Delphinidae . . . . . . . . 83

Family Phocoenidae . . . . . . . .... 142

Order Pinnipedia . . . . . . . . ... .... 145

Family Otariidae . . . . . ... ... . . 145

Family Phocidae . . . . . . . . . . 148

SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS. . . . . . . . . . 156

REFERENCES . . . . . . . . .. . . . 158





Map of Study Area . . . . . . . . . . .

Map of study area showing major sections and quadrat
numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . .




3 Distribution of the right whale, Eubalaena glacialis . .

4 Distribution of the blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus . .

5 Distribution of the sei whale, Balaenoptera borealis . .

6 Distribution of the fin whale, Balaenoptera physalus . .

7 Distribution of the Bryde's whale, Balaenoptera edeni . .

8 Distribution of the minke whale, Balaenoptera
acutorostrata . . . . . . . . . . . .

9 Distribution of the humpback whale, Megaptera
novaeangliae . . . . . . . . . . .

10 Distribution of the sperm whale, Physeter catodon . . .

11 Distribution of the pygmy sperm whale, Kogia breviceps .

12 Distribution of the dwarf sperm whale, Kogia simus . .

13 Distribution of Blainville's beaked whale, Mesoplodon
densirostris . . . . . . . . . . .

14 Distribution of the Antillean beaked whale, Mesoplodon
europaeus . . . . . . . . . . . . .

15 Distribution of True's beaked whale, Mesoplodon mirus .

16 Distribution of the goosebeaked whale, Ziphius
cavirostris . . . . . . . . . . . .

17 Distribution of the pygmy killer whale, Feresa
attenuata . . . . . . . . . . . .

18 Distribution
crassidens .

19 Distribution

20 Distribution
melaena .

of the false killer whale, Pseudorca

of the killer whale, Orcinus orca . . .

of the Atlantic pilot whale, Globicephala
. . . . . . . . . . . .

FIGURES (continued)


21 Distribution of the
macrorhynchus . .

22 Distribution of the
bredanensis . .

23 Distribution of the
delphis . . .

24 Distribution of the
truncatus . . .

25 Distribution of the

26 Distribution of the
frontalis . .

27 Distribution of the
plagiodon . .

28 Distribution of the
coeruleoalba . .

29 Distribution of the
longirostris . .

30 Distribution of the
Stenella clymene .

31 Distribution of the
phocoena . . .

32 Distribution of the
californianus . .

33 Distribution of the

34 Distribution of the

35 Distribution of the
tropicalis . .


short-finned pilot whale, Globicephala
. . . . . . . . . . .

rough-toothed dolphin, Steno
. . . . . . . . . . .

saddleback dolphin, Delphinus

Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops
. . . . . . . . . . .

grampus, Grampus griseus . . .

bridled dolphin, Stenella
. . . . . . . . . . .

Atlantic spotted dolphin, Stenella

striped dolphin, Stenella
. . . . . . . . . . .

spinner dolphin, Stenella
. . . . . . . . . .

short-snouted spinner dolphin,

harbor porpoise, Phocoena
. . . . . . . . . . .

California sea lion, Zalophus

harbor seal, Phoca vitulina . . .

hooded seal, Cystophora cristata .

West Indian seal, Monachus
. . . . . . . . . . .


Number Pace

1 Cetaceans and pinnipeds of the Southeastern United States
coast and the Gulf of Mexico . . . . . . . 2

2 List of data sources used in this study . . . ... 23

3 Summary of cetacean-pinniped observations for each
species in the study area . . . . . . . . 10

4 Summary of cetacean-pinniped observations by month for
each species in the three major sections of the study
area . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

5 Summary of species which have mass-stranded in the study
area . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 18

6 Summary of strandings for each quadrat of coastline in
the study area . . . . . . . .... ..... 20

7 Monthly tabulations of stranding records for the entire
study area and each major section . . . . .... 21

8 Observations of short-finned pilot whales recorded from
NMFS vessels in the study area . . . . . .... 8


Financial support for this study was provided by the New Orleans Outer
Continental Shelf Office, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the

Greatly appreciated are the assistance and cooperation of Drs. Thomas
Fritts and Robert Reynolds of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National
Fish and Wildlife Laboratory (now the Denver Wildlife Research Center), New
Orleans Field Station at the Tulane University Museum of Natural History,
Belle Chasse, Louisiana.

Likewise, Mr. Larry Hobbs and Mr. Wayne Hoffman, of the National Fish and
Wildlife Laboratory (NFWL) offices in Washington, D.C., offered numerous sug-
gestions about descriptions and identification cues for each species.

Several persons aided in the final stages of manuscript preparation.
Peyton Hughes aided with the location of stranding records in the literature.
Barbara Dorf assisted with documentation of strandings and sightings as well
as summarizing natural history information for many species. Gail Barber
deserves special mention for making the distribution maps as well as for typ-
ing and editing the entire manuscript. Bob Maze assisted in making the dis-
tribution maps. Gary Binderim wrote a computer program to aid in summarizing
and categorizing information about strandings, sightings, and captures.

This paper represents contribution No. B-1320 of the Texas Agricultural
Experiment Station, Texas A&M University.


The marine mammal fauna of the Southeastern United States coast and the
Gulf of Mexico consists almost entirely of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and
porpoises), although pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) and sirenians (manatees)
also are represented. This paper only considers cetaceans and pinnipeds.
Thirty-five species occur regularly in this region or have occurred there
sometime in the historic past or have been reported so close to the boundaries
of the region that occasional strays may be expected. Table 1 lists the
discussed species, arranged by family. The nomenclature for scientific names
is that used by the Marine Mammal Commission (Anonymous 1976).

The purpose of this paper is to synthesize all available data and liter-
ature about cetaceans and pinnipeds in the region of study. The study area
includes the coast and adjacent continental shelf of the United States from
Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to the Florida Keys; and from the Florida Keys
to the United States/Mexico boundary near Port Isabel/Brownsville, Texas
(Figure 1). This area contains the warmest water in contact with the contig-
uous United States including the Florida Straits, the southern Gulf Stream,
and other important areas. Because of the extreme mobility of marine orga-
nisms, the remainder of the Gulf of Mexico, the northern portions of the
Caribbean Sea, and the portions of the South Atlantic extending slightly
beyond the 1000-fathom isobath (1,830 m) have also been included in the



Most reports of marine mammals from the study area are scattered
in literature accounts of stranded animals. However, several recent papers
are available which synthesize much of the older literature as well as present
additional information for specific geographic regions. These papers consti-
tute the primary basis for the species accounts which assess the status of
each species in the study area. They are listed below by geographic region,
author, and date, followed by a brief description of the contents of each

1. Southeastern U.S. coast Caldwell and Caldwell (1974) and Winn
et al. (1979): a review of all published and unpublished records from Cape
Hatteras, North Carolina, south to Cape Canaveral, Florida, including a
summary of all biological knowledge for species living in this area.

2. Florida Moore (1953): a checklist of Florida species, with
detailed annotations, and a compilation of old records. Layne (1965): a
checklist of Florida records primarily after Moore, but with some comments on
the earlier records and with detailed annotations.

3. Northeastern Gulf Caldwell and Caldwell (1973): an annotated
checklist of marine mammals along the Gulf coast of Florida, Mlississippi, and
Alabama as well as an assessment of their status.

Table 1. Cetaceans and pinnipeds of the Southeastern United States coast and
the Gulf of Mexico.
Order Cetacea
Suborder Mysticeti Baleen whales
Family Balaenidae Right whales
Eubalaena olacialis Right whale . . . . .... 37
Family Balaenopteridae Rorquals
Balaenoptera musculus Blue whale . . . .... 40
Balaenoptera borealis Sei whale . . . . . .. 43
Balaenoptera physalus Fin whale . . . . .... 46
Balaenoptera edeni Bryde's whale . . . . .. 49
Balaenoptera acutorostrata Minke whale . . . .. 51
Megaptera novaeangliae Humpback whale . . . ... 54
Suborder Odontoceti Toothed whales
Family Physeteridae Sperm whales
Physeter catodon Sperm whale . . . . . . 58
Kogia breviceps Pygmy sperm whale . . . .... 64
Kogia simus Dwarf sperm whale . . . . .... 69
Family Ziphiidae Beaked whales
Mesoplodon densirostris Blainville's beaked whale . 72
Mesoplodon europaeus Antillean beaked whale . . .. 75
Mesoplodon mirus True's beaked whale . . . ... 78
Ziphius cavirostris Goosebeaked whale . . . ... 80
Family Delphinidae Delphinids
Peponocephala electra Many-toothed dolphin . . .. 83
Feresa attenuata Pygmy killer whale . . . .... .. 84
Pseudorca crassidens False killer whale . . ... 85
Orcinus orca Killer whale . . . . . .... 89
Globicephala melaena Atlantic pilot whale ...... 92
Globicephala macrorhynchus Short-finned pilot whale . 95
Steno bredanensis Rough-toothed dolphin . . ... 101
Lagenodelphis hosei Fraser's dolphin . . . ... 103
Delphinus delphis Saddleback dolphin . . . .. 104
Tursiops truncatus Atlantic bottlenose dolphin . .108
Grampus qriseus Grampus ............... 122
Stenella frontalis Bridled dolphin . . . .. .125
Stenella plagiodon Atlantic spotted dolphin . . .. .127
Stenella coeruleoalba Striped dolphin . . . .. 133
StenelTa longirostris Spinner dolphin . . . .. 137
Stenella clymene Short-snouted spinner dolphin . .. 140
Family Phocoenidae Porpoises
Phocoena phocoena Harbor porpoise . . . . . 142

Order Pinnipedia
Family Otariidae Eared seals
Zalophus californianus California sea lion .. . ... . 145
Family Phocidae Hair seals
Phoca vitulina Harbor seal .. . . . . . ... .148
Cystophora cristata Hooded seal .... . . . ..... 151
f',r, iu: tropicalis West Indian seal . . . . . . 153

a Not recorded in study area but occur on periphery.


Figure 1. Map of the study area.

4. Louisiana Lowery (1974): a summary of all stranding records and
observations of marine mammals in Louisiana waters.

5. Texas Schmidly and Melcher (1974): annotated checklist and key to
the cetaceans of Texas waters. Schmidly and Shane (1978): a revision of the
checklist with additional records resulting from a two-year stranding network.

Search of the published literature and unpublished records resulted in
2,034 observations of cetaceans or pinnipeds which could be analyzed. Obser-
vations were obtained from five types of sources: (1) published literature,
(2) records of Smithsonian Institute programs, (3) museum records, (4) unpub-
lished records, and (5) aerial sightings made in 1979. Each of these sources
is discussed below.

Published sources provided 1,256 observations (49.3% of total) of ceta-
ceans and pinnipeds in the study area. One major drawback of this sample of
records is the reliability of species identifications, particularly for some
of the more taxonomically complex groups (such as species of Balaenoptera,
Kogia, and Stenella). For example, in analyzing the distribution records of
Balaenoptera edeni and B. borealis along the eastern coast of the United
States, Mead (1979) found that 38% of the records were erroneous, and an addi-
tional 38% were unreliable or undocumented, leaving only 24% as usable records
for critical purposes. We were unable to verify the identity or accuracy of
each literature observation, and undoubtedly several incorrect identifications
still are present in this sample. All publications pertaining to species in
the study area are listed by author and assigned numbers in Table 2, at the
end of this section (p. 24).

The second data source consists of 518 records (20.3% of total) compiled
during five years of operation of the Smithsonian's Scientific Event Alert
Network (SEAN). These are reported in the SEAN bulletins and also include
records compiled during the first three years of the Smithsonian Institution's
Marine Mammal Salvage Program (MMSP). Virtually all MMSP records have been
confirmed and most are represented by museum specimens. However, most other
SEAN records have not been verified. Because they have not been scrutinized
and reviewed by experts (every report submitted is reported without further
verification and documentation), the SEAN bulletins are listed in Table 2
under unpublished sources.

The third data source consists of 491 museum records (19.2% of total).
Many of these records, especially the extralimital records of rare species,
have been published. However, many museums also have unpublished records of
more common species. To explore this heretofore untapped data source, ques-
tionnaires were sent to 51 museums known or suspected of having marine mammal
specimens from the study area. Of these, 32 responded as having records, and
these have been listed in Table 2, at the end of this section.

The fourth main data source consists of miscellaneous, unpublished infor-
mation, for which voucher specimens or other documentation is usually lacking.
This category includes personal communications with noted cetologists familiar
with the study area, and observations gathered by personnel aboard U.S.
National Marine Fisheries Service research vessels traversing the study area.
A word of caution is in order about the use of such data sources, especially
those which produce records from offshore waters. Inasmuch as those represent

only sight records, often by inexperienced observers, they are subject to mis-
identification unless supported by photographs or unless the sightings were
made by competently trained cetologists.

The fifth data source consists of aerial sightings made in 1979 during a
pilot project partially designed to conduct preliminary aerial inventories of
marine mammals within the Gulf of Mexico. The project, in which the author of
this paper participated, was sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
and coordinated from the New Orleans Field Station of the National Fish and
Wildlife Laboratory (NFWL) on the Riverside Campus of Tulane University. Sur-
veys were conducted at four Gulf of Mexico study areas: (1) Naples, Florida;
(2) Clearwater, Florida; (3) Corpus Christi, Texas; and (4) Brownsville, Texas
(for detailed descriptions, see Fritts and Reynolds 1980). Each study site
encompassed borders of approximately 111 km (60 nm) on the shoreline and
extending 221 km (120 nm) perpendicular to the shoreline. These surveys repre-
sent the first attempt to develop a systematic sampling scheme for estimating
population sizes of marine mammals in the Gulf of Mexico. Sightings made dur-
ing .these aerial surveys, which were conducted by experts experienced in the
identification of cetaceans, are indicated in the appropriate species account
and referenced using the acronym NFWL-BLM.


A computerized data management system was developed to tabulate and sum-
marize all data. Each observation was assigned a unique number and the
following information coded onto a computer sheet: (1) species identification;
(2) geographic location of the observation; (3) type of observation (whether
it represented a stranding, sighting, or capture); (4) source of information;
and (5) nature of the observation (including date and number of individuals

Geographic location was recorded by area (western Gulf, eastern Gulf,
Atlantic, and Caribbean) and quadrat number (see Figure 2). Each observation
was categorized, if possible, according to whether it represented a stranding,
sighting, or capture. All marine mammals found along a shoreline were
referred to as "stranded," and a distinction was made between those which came
ashore alive and those simply washed ashore dead. It is often difficult to
make this distinction since it is usually impossible to determine whether an
animal was alive or dead when it arrived on the beach. Therefore, in coding
our data, we recorded animals as having stranded alive only when the account
of the stranding clearly indicated this was the case. Consequently, our tabu-
lations certainly represent a minimum estimate, and these kinds of data
summarization must be viewed with caution.

Sightings were recorded according to whether they resulted from aerial,
boat, or land observations. Captures were coded according to whether they
resulted from whaling, oceanaria/zoo collecting, fishery activities, scien-
tific collecting, or nonscientific collecting. The source of information was
coded according to whether the observation was a published record, SEAN event,
museum specimen, or some other unpublished data source (such as NMFS log
records). For each stranding or sighting, the date was recorded as well as

whether the observation involved a single individual or a group of indivi-
duals. All data were tabulated using a computer program written for the SAS
system at Texas A&M University by Mr. Gary Binderim.

Detailed species accounts have been prepared for each of the cetaceans
and pinnipeds, in the study area, and these include the following categories
of information:

1. Other Common and Scientific Names

Both the "scientific" and "common" names of several species vary from one
publication to another and from place to place. While we used the names recom-
mended by the Marine Mammal Commission (Anonymous 1976), we have attempted to
list all scientific and common names used in the literature to refer to ceta-
ceans and pinnipeds from the study area. Many of the scientific names used in
the old literature have been placed in synonymy as a result of recent taxo-
nomic research.

2. Description and Identification

A brief description of each species is provided with emphasis given to
diagnostic features, especially those which might be visible from the air or a
ship. Much of this information was taken from the excellent account of whales,
dolphins, and porpoises of the western North Atlantic written by Leatherwood
et al. (1976).

3. Distribution

General statements on each species' distribution are followed by detailed
accounts of their distribution within the study area. Where appropriate, known
records are plotted on a study area map using a set of eight symbols. In most
situations, only a single type of observation was evident at a given locality
(although the same type of observation may have occurred at different times),
and these are plotted using the following symbols:

stranding aerial sighting (NFWL-BLM study)
) sighting (literature) i capture

For a few of the more common species, several types of observation were
recorded at different times and at the same location. These are represented
by the following symbols:

A stranding + sighting f stranding + sighting + capture
A sighting + capture 79 stranding + capture

Also included in this section are descriptions of general habitat prefer-
ences (e.g., onshore-offshore) as well as relationships to major oceanographic
features, if these are known. These data are usually nonrandom and biased in
various ways that relate to man's distribution rather than to a particular
cetacean or pinniped species.

4. Seasonal Movements

There are few data regarding seasonal distribution of cetaceans or pinni-
peds in the study area, primarily because records of sightings and strandings

are scattered and sporadic. Patterns of strandings, sightings, or captures
were tabulated for each species in each major section of the study area. In
some cases monthly data were not available for the sighting or stranding.
These were plotted on the distribution maps, but not considered in assessment
of movement patterns.

5. Status and Abundance

Whenever possible, some account of the abundance of a species is given.
However, with a few exceptions, the number of any species of cetacean or pin-
niped which frequents the study area is not known, and one can only infer its
abundance from reports of casual sightings or from the number of strandings.
The stranding or the washing up of a whale, alive or dead, on the beach is not
a completely random occurrence, and some species are definitely more subject
to this accident than are others. For this reason, we are badly in need of
adequate censusing of the marine mammals in the study area. Based on our
knowledge of abundance, we have attempted to assess the status (stable,
increasing, decreasing) of each species, if possible. Several species in the
study area are considered endangered, and their status is listed as determined
by the U.S. authorities (U.S. Fish and Wildife Service 1973) and in the Red
Data Book (IUCN 1972).

6. Life History

In general, life history and biological data on marine mammals are very
limited. For each species, all literature references pertaining to reproduc-
tion, food habits, and behavior in the study area are discussed. Where no
information is available specifically from the study area, references summar-
izing life history parameters in other geographic regions have been used.

7. Records of Occurrence

For each species, the exact location of every sighting or stranding and
the reference or references referring to each are given. The records are
arranged by quadrats and major sections of the study area as shown in Figure
2. Within each quadrat (called quads), the localities are arranged from north
to south and west to east in that order of preference. Following each local-
ity, the number or numbers in parentheses refer to the reference for that
stranding or sighting as listed in Table 2. To find the exact location and
reference for a dot on a distribution map, one must first determine what quad
the dot is in (using the map in Figure 2) and then look up that quad number in
the records of occurrence list. Using the reference rule of north before
south and west before east, one then can determine the exact location and
reference for every dot on each distribution map. For a few species, a single
dot may represent more than one locality.


Of the 2,034 observations of cetaceans and pinnipeds recorded, 1,220
(60.0%) represented strandings, 559 (27.5%) were sightings, and 255 (12.5%)
were captures. Of these, 1,132 (55.9%) involved single individuals, 560
(27.6%) involved more than one individual, and in 342 (16.5%) instances the
number of individuals involved could not be determined. Of the 1,220 strand-
ings, 142 (11.6%) represented animals that stranded alive, 452 (37.0%) were

P e 0 0 2 5 i OP t
"' \ 9 s w l t' B l

70 71 72
82 83
81C IE

sr W i 1r a a or o W Ir w r

Figure 2. Map of the study area showing major sections
Gulf, Atlantic, and Caribbean) and quadrat numbers.

(western Gulf,


dead when they arrived on the shoreline, and in 626 (51.3%) instances it could
not be determined whether the animal stranded alive or dead.

Tabulations of
area are as follows:

observations for

each of the major sections of the study

Geographic area Strandings Sightings Captures Totals (%)

Western Gulf 158 100 10 268 (13.2)

Eastern Gulf 220 278 77 575 (28.3)

Atlantic 835 177 164 1,176 (57.8)

Caribbean 7 4 4 15 (00.7)




Data are heavily biased by observational effort, being very high in a few
selected areas and totally lacking elsewhere. Almost 60% of the observations
have been recorded from the Atlantic portion of the study area, with about 28%
being recorded from the eastern Gulf and 13% from the western Gulf. Virtually
nothing is available from the Caribbean. These figures reflect the greater
amount of cetological activity along the Atlantic coast as compared to the
Gulf of Mexico.

Tabulations of observations by species are shown in Table 3. Twenty-nine
cetaceans and four pinnipeds have stranded, been sighted, or captured in the
study area. To evaluate these data, the sample was stratified into stranding
and nonstranding (sightings and captures) categories. The stranding category
primarily includes inshore, coastal species with very few offshore, pelagic
species represented. With the exception of Tursiops truncatus (for which
there are numerous inshore sightings), the sighting-capture sample is domi-
nated by offshore species.

Tabulations of observations by month for each species are shown in
Table 4. Once again, the data are separated into stranding and nonstranding
categories. This information is the primary basis for interpreting seasonal
distributional patterns for each species in the study area, and these data are
discussed at the appropriate place in each species account.


Strandings provide a valuable source of data for marine mammals. When
conducted in a systematic fashion over a long period of time, data derived
from stranding studies help to fill important gaps in present knowledge
regarding stocks, life history, natural mortality rates, and proportional
abundance. However, certain sampling biases are evident when using these data
(Mead 1979). The stranding of a particular species on a given coastline may
be influenced by several factors. Inshore species may be represented by indi-
viduals which either die in their normal area of distribution and are washed
ashore, or by ill or stray individuals that wind up as live stranded animals.

Table 3. Summary of cetacean-pinniped observations for each species in the
study area.

Alive Dead Unknown


Siqhtinqs Captures

Eubalaena qlacialis
Balaenoptera musculus
Balaenoptera borealis
Balaenoptera physalus
Balaenoptera edeni
Balaenoptera acutorostrata
Megaptera novaeangliae
Physeter catodon
Kogia breviceps
Kogia simus
Mesoplodon densirostris
Mesoplodon europaeus
Mesoplodon mirus
Ziphius cavirostris
Feresa attenuata
Pseudorca crassidens
Orcinus orca
Globicephala melaena
Globicephala macrorhynchus
Steno bredanensis
Delphinus delphis
Tursiops truncatus
Grampus griseus
Stenella frontalis
Stenella plagiodon
Stenella coeruleoalba
Stenella longirostris
Stenella clymene
Phocoena phocoena
Zalophus californianus
Phoca vitulina
Cystophora cristata
Monachus tropicalis

1 0

6 9 22

2 1
2 2
1 0
2 0

4 1

0 0
0 0

559 255


Total s

142 452


Table 4. Summary of cetacean-pinniped observations by month for each species in the three major sections
(western Gulf, eastern Gulf, Atlantic) of the study area. Underlined values represent the number of non-
strandings (sightings and captures); other values indicate the number of stranded animals.


Geographic area J F M A M J J A S 0 N D No date

Eubalaena glacialis
Western Gulf 1
Eastern Gulf 1
Atlantic 1;12 2;7 1;12 4 1 1 1;2

Balaenoptera musculus
Western Gulf 1 1
Eastern Gulf

Balaenoptera borealis
Western Gulf 1
Eastern Gulf 2
Atlantic 1 1

Balaenoptera physalus
Western Gulf 1 1
Eastern Gulf 2 1 1;1 1 1 1 1
Atlantic 1 2 3;1 1 2 1 1

Balaenoptera edeni
Western Gulf
Eastern Gulf 1 1 1 1
Atlantic 1 2 1 1 1

Balaenoptera acutorostrata
Western Gulf 1 1 1
Eastern Gulf 1 1 1 2
Atlantic 2 1 1


Table 4. Continued.


Geographic area J F M A M J J A S 0 N D No date
Megaptera novaeangliae
Western Gulf
Eastern Gulf 1 1 1 1 2
Atlantic 2;5 2 3 2;6 2 1 1 2

Physeter catodon
Western Gulf 1 1 1 3 2 2 1 2
Eastern Gulf 1 1;1 1;4 1;7 14 25 13 T 1 3 1 2
Atlantic 2;10 2;2 2;6 2 ;T1 14 9 3;15 4;8 3 1;9 20 8 10
Koqia breviceps
Western Gulf 2 2 1 1 2 2 1
Eastern Gulf 4 1 1 1 1 1 1 3
Atlantic 12 9 12;1 8 8 7;1 6 9 14 10 6 8 10

Kogia simus
Western Gulf 2 1 1
Eastern Gulf 1 1 1
Atlantic 4 1 5 1 1 3 2 1 1 5 6

Mesoplodon densirostris
Western Gulf 1
Eastern Gulf
Atlantic 1 2 2 1 1

Mesoplodon europaeus
Western Gulf 1 1 1
Eastern Gulf 1 1
Atlantic 3 1 1 4 3 1 1 1 5

Mesoplodon mirus
Western Gulf
Eastern Gulf
Atlantic 3 1 1 1



Table 4. Continued.


Geographic areas J F M A M J J A S 0 N D No date
Ziphius cavirostris
Western Gulf 1
Eastern Gulf 1 1 1 1 1 2
Atlantic 2 7 3 2 1 3 3 1 2 1 4

Feresa attenuata
Western Gulf 1
Eastern Gulf 1
Atlantic 1 2 1

Pseudorca crassidens
Western Gulf 1
Eastern Gulf 1 4 3 1 2
Atlantic 1 1 1 1 1 1;1 1 1 5

Orcinus orca
Western Gulf 1 1
Eastern Gulf 1 1 1 2
Atlantic 3 1 1 1 7

Globicephala melaena
Western Gulf
Eastern Gulf
Atlantic 1 2 1 1 1

Globicephala macrorhynchus
Western Gulf 1 1;1 1;1 1 1;1 1 1 1 1 5
Eastern Gulf 1 3 1 1;1 2 3;1 2 6;1 1 2 1 1 12
Atlantic 5 9;1 6 9;1 5;3 2 3 4 1 4 2;2 2;1 21

Steno bredanensis
Western Gulf I
Eastern Gulf 1 1 4
Atlantic 1 1 2


Table 4. Continued.

Geographic area J F A M J J A S 0 N D No date
Delphinus delphis
Western Gulf 1 2 2
Eastern Gulf 1 3 2
Atlantic 4;2 1;1 2 1;1 1 3 1 4

Tursiops truncatus
Western Gulf 8 13 22 10;2 8;9 7;1 2;9 2 2 3;13 8;4 15
Eastern Gulf 3;7 7;3 18;10 19;9 12;13 2;12 12;10 5;27 3;6 4;10 7;25 1;5 15
Atlantic 28 36;1 57 27 25;5 14;1 5 9;63 7 11;2 12;1 20;2 51

Grampus griseus
Western Gulf
Eastern Gulf 1 1 1
Atlantic 1 3 1 2 1 2

Stenella frontalis
Western Gulf 1
Eastern Gulf 1
Atlantic 1 1 1 1 1

Stenella plagiodon
Western Gulf 1 2 2 20 4 4 2;1 7 2
Eastern Gulf 1;5 1 6 1;11 2 1;11 3;5 1 1;4 1 17
Atlantic 6;T 2 3;1 1;5 3;6 4 1 1;1 2;4 2;1 1 4;2 6

Stenella coeruleoalba
Western Gulf 1 2
Eastern Gulf 1 13 1;
Atlantic 4 1 1 1 5 1 3 1

Stenella longirostris
Western Gulf- 1 1 1 1 1
Eastern Gulf 1 1 1 1
Atlantic 1 1 2 1 2


Table 4. Concluded.

Geographic area J F M A M J J A S 0 N D No date
Stenella clymene
Western Gulf 1
Eastern Gulf 1
Atlantic 1 1 1

Phocoena phocoena
Western Gulf
Eastern Gulf
Atlantic 9 34 10 2 1

Zalophus californianus
Western Gulf 1
Eastern Gulf 1 1 1 1 1
Atlantic 3 1 T T 2 1 1 8

Phoca vitulina
Western Gulf
Eastern Gulf
Atlantic 5;1 6;1 4 1 1 2 4

Cystophora cristata
Western Gulf
Eastern Gulf
Atlantic 1 1

Monachus tropicalis
Western Gulf 1 1 1 6
Eastern Gulf 1 1 1 4
Atlantic 2

Offshore species which die in their normal area of distribution are not likely
to be washed ashore because of the distance involved and the chance of scaven-
gers or decomposition breaking up the carcasses before they reach the coast.
Most of these carcasses probably sink without refloating, and these species
will only be represented by those individuals which stray from their normal
area of distribution and die on or near the coast.

Both population size and mortality rate in a given area contribute
directly to the relative abundance of a particular species in the stranding
record. Both factors may vary seasonally and result in regular changes in the
abundance of strandings. For these reasons, a relatively rare offshore spe-
cies, with regular inshore movements coincident with increased mortality, may
be represented by more records than a much more common species with an oppo-
site pattern of movement or mortality. Brown (1975) reported that stranding
mortality of small cetaceans in the northeast Atlantic Ocean from 1913 to 1972
did not correlate well with population abundance based upon sighting records.
The relationship between stranding mortality and population abundance, accord-
ing to Brown (1975), will vary with the nature of the coast and with short- or
long-term changes in environmental factors such as coastal currents and water

In addition to the above factors, reporting biases may affect the strand-
ing record. Once an animal has stranded, it must be noticed and reported, and
finally the report must be recorded. Large, rare or unusually marked animals,
such as the great whales and the beaked whales, are much more likely to be
noticed and reported than small or common species. Consequently, past records
are likely to be relatively complete for the large whales, followed by rare
and unusual species, and least complete for common, or rare but unimposing

Species Composition of Stranded Animals

Of the 33 cetaceans and pinnipeds known from the study area, 32 have
stranded on one or more occasions (Table 3). Those species with fewer than 10
records are probably either rare or represent extralimital strays. This
accounts for 13 species, two of which (Stenella clymene and Monachus tropi-
calis) are known primarily from the study area and should not be considered as
strays. The 20 remaining species represent the normal, or at least regularly
occurring, cetacean-pinniped fauna of this area. This group accounts for 94%
of the strandings. Of these, 10 species with greater than 20 records account
for 88% of all stranding records and can be considered as common elements of
the fauna. The four most common species (greater than 50 records) are Kogia
breviceps, Globicephala macroryhnchus, Tursiops truncatus, and Phocoena pho-
coena; they comprise 66% of all records and probably represent the regular
members of the fauna. (It should be noted that Phocoena only occurs in the
extreme northern part of the Atlantic portion of the study area.)

Tursiops truncatus, with a total of 493 records, is the most common ele-
ment of the coastal fauna. Stranding and sighting records suggest that this
species normally occurs near shore in relatively large numbers and is cer-
tainly the dominant cetacean element in the study area. The second most abun-
dant species, Koqia breviceps (141 records), is somewhat surprising, as this
is usually considered to be a relatively rare, offshore animal. The large
number of strandings of this species may result from an inshore movement of

part of the population during a period of increased natural mortality, result-
ing in a somewhat disproportionate number of strandings. The next species in
order of relative abundance is Globicephala macrorhynchus. This is apparently
not an inshore species, but is probably represented in the study area by a
relatively large population.

There are too few records of the remaining species to permit comments
about their relative abundance. However, a few comments are pertinent for
some species because extenuating circumstances may exist which affect their
apparent abundance and distribution. All species of Balaenoptera present
problems of identification, particularly when their records are based upon
decomposed remains or partial specimens. According to Mead (1979), many of
the records presented in the literature as B. physalus probably represent
other species. A somewhat analogous situation exists for many early records
of Globicephala macrorhynchus which probably represent strandings of Pseudorca
crassidens. The differences between the two are evident to cetologists, but
descriptions formerly available to the general biological community were
inadequate, resulting in most strandings of large, black cetaceans being
referred to as G. macrorhynchus. A comparable problem exists for Delphinus
delphis and Stenella coereuleoalba. These species are frequently confused,
and since S. coeruleoalba is the lesser known of the two, the identification
is more likely to be given as D. delphis. Unless observations of such species
can be verified, conclusions based upon them must be regarded as tentative.

Live Strandings

It is useful to have some idea of the incidence of live strandings,
especially since the factors and species involved are likely to be different.
Only 12% of all stranding records involved animals known to be alive at the
time of stranding (Table 3). Of the species with a relatively large (about
20) sample size, Stenella coeruleoalba had the highest percentage of live
standings (37%). Koi breviceps was next with 28%, followed among the
smaller cetaceans by Kogia simus (16.2%) and Globicephala macrorhynchus
(15.2%). Other species with smaller sample sizes (less than 15 records), but
with a high percentage of live strandings include Grampus griseus (30.8%) and
Stenella longirostris (28.6%). Of the larger whales, Physeter catodon was
most commonly found alive (19% of its stranding records). The most common
baleen whales were Balaenoptera acutorostrata (36%) and B. edeni (30%).
Interestingly, all of the species with a high incidence of live strandings
were apparently offshore forms, whereas the most abundant inshore species,
Tursiops truncatus, had an extremely low incidence of live strandings (3.2%).
This is consistent with the viewpoint that stray individuals of offshore spe-
cies are most likely to wander onto the beach and be found while still alive.
The low incidence of live strandings of inshore species suggests that these
are generally more capable of avoiding the beach while alive, even though they
may be terminally ill or injured (Mead 1979).

Mass Strandings

A total of 42 mass strandings (five or more individuals) of seven species
have been recorded in the study area (Table 5). Globicephala macrorhynchus
was by far the most common species involved, with 31 records, representing 74%
of all mass strandings. There have been 20 reported mass strandings of this
species in the Atlantic portion of the study area, 10 in the eastern Gulf, and

Table 5. Summary of species which have


Physeter catodon

Feresa attenuata

Pseudorca crassidens

Globicephala macrorhynchus

Steno bredanensis

Stenella plagiodon

Stenella longirostris

No. mass
















Avg. no.









mass-stranded in the study area.


only one in the western Gulf. The total number of individuals involved in
these mass strandings was 1,010, with a mean of 32.6 individuals per strand-
ing. This is probably only a minimal estimate since many of the strandings
appear to have been only partially reported. The largest mass stranding re-
corded for this species involved 200 individuals. The others clearly divide
into two size classes, those on the order of 50 to 100 individuals (14 in-
stances) and those on the order of 5 to 25 individuals (26 instances); these
probably represent different types of social groupings. Mass strandings of
this species have been recorded in every month except September, and there is
no seasonal pattern indicated.

Of the other species, only Pseudorca crassidens could be considered as
regularly stranding in multiple numbers. Although this species is currently
only represented by two multiple stranding records, it is likely that a few of
the early records for G. macrorhynchus were actually P. crassidens. Steno
bredanensis, Physeter catodon, and Stenella longirostris are the only other
species for which mass strandings represent a significant portion of the total

There have been no recorded mass strandings of mysticete cetaceans in the
study area. The majority of odontocetes stranded are pelagic species. Appar-
ently, coastal forms strand alive only rarely.

Geographic Distribution of Strandings

The total number of strandings for each coastline quadrat (Figure 2) in
the study area is given in Table 6. There is considerable fluctuation in
stranding numbers with the lowest being 7 (0.6% of the total) in Quadrat 22
and the highest, 230, in Quadrat 3 (19.2%). These differences probably do not
reflect real variation in abundance of marine mammals. Rather, they result
from the tremendous difference in cetological activity from one place in the
study area to another. The large number of records in Quadrat 3 (which in-
cludes the Outer Banks of North Carolina) reflects the concentrated effort
there by the Marine Mammal Salvage Program (MMSP) of the Smithsonian Institu-
tion. The quadrats surrounding Florida (8, 12, 16, 48, 39, 31, 30, 22, 21)
encompass 43% of the total number of strandings. Florida has more recorded
strandings than any other state due to a long history of marine mammal activ-
ity and its having the longest coastline of the southeastern states.

Seasonal Distribution of Strandings

Table 7 presents monthly tabulations of stranding records for the study
area. The number of strandings is greatest during January through April, as
54% of the recorded strandings is greatest during these months. This pattern
holds for the entire study area as well as for each of the major sections.
Whether this trend is indicative of higher mortality among marine mammals in
colder months or simply a result of sampling error (seasonal fluctuations in
effort) cannot be ascertained at this time.


Sightings from the study area are comparatively few, and only 17 of the
33 species have been sighted (Table 3). Few attempts to develop a systematic

Table 6. Summary of strandings
in the study area.

for each quadrat (see Figure 2)

of coastline

Quadrat Total strandings % of total

1 40 3.3

Table 7. Monthly tabulations of stranding records for the entire study area
and each major section.

Western Eastern
Month Strandings (%) Gulf Gulf Atlantic Caribbean

J 117 (11.4) 17 11 89 0

F 132 (12.9) 20 15 96 1

M 199 (19.4) 28 26 145 0

A 109 (10.6) 11 27 71 0

M 90 (08.8) 10 19 61 0

J 50 (04.9) 3 9 38 0

J. 55 (05.4) 8 20 27 0

A 55 (05.4) 6 17 32 0

S 50 (04.9) 10 6 34 0

0 49 (04.8) 5 9 35 0

N 54 (05.3) 5 16 33 0

D 64 (06.2) 13 6 45 0

Totals 1,024 136 181 706 1

% 13.3 17.7 68.9 0.1

and regular sampling scheme for sightings have been made and, consequently,
most sighting records come from incidental observations made by untrained
observers or are specific attempts by trained cetologists to sight selected
species. For example, Leatherwood (1975, 1979) used aerial techniques to
survey Tursiops populations in the inshore habitats at several places in the
Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic coast of Florida. However, these
studies generally cover only a brief time period and a relatively small geo-
graphic area. Excluding the inshore sightings of Tursiops, 52% of the total
sightings are of Stenella plagiodon, probably the most common offshore species
in the study area. Other species with a high percentage of their total
observations represented by sightings include Eubalaena glacialis, Stenella
coeruleoalba, Delphinus delphis, Pseudorca crassidens, Zalophus californianus,
and Monachus tropicalis. With the exception of Eubalaena glacialis, often
sighted along the Atlantic coast during its annual spring migration, and the
two pinnipeds, these species are offshore, deep water forms.


Captures constitute only 12.5% of total study area observations, and only
17 of the 33 species have been captured (Table 3). Of the 255 captures, 199
(78%) represent captures by whalers of two species, Megaptera novaeangliae and
Physeter catodon (summarized by Townsend 1935). Of the remaining captures,
most are of Tursiops, collected by oceanaria for use in public display. We
could document only 12 captures of Tursiops for this reason, but there
undoubtedly have been many more. Other species for which captures constitute
a large percentage of their total observations include the pinnipeds, Zalophus
californianus and Monachus tropicalis. Zalophus is not native to the study
area, and most captures are animals escaped from oceanarias. Monachus was
hunted extensively during colonial times as a source of oil.

Table 2. List of data sources used in this study.
Literature records

1. Aguayo, C. G. 1954. Notas sobre cetaceos de aguas Cubanas.
Biblio. del Zool. Habana 13(351):1125-1126.

2. Allen, G. M. 1916. The whalebone whales
Soc. Nat. Hist. 8:107-322.

of New England.

Circ. Mus.

Mem. Boston

3. Allen, G. M. 1925.
Florida coast.

4. Allen, G. M. 1941.
Hist. Publ. Zool

The bridled dolphin
J. Mammal. 6:59.

Pigmy sperm whale
SSer. 27:17-34.

5. Allen, G. M. 1942. Extinct and vanishing
sphere with the marine species of all

Wildly. Protection, Spec.


6. Allen, J. A.

Publ. 11.


The West Indian seal

Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 2:1-34.

(Prodelphinus froenatus) on the

in the Atlantic.

Field Mus.

mammals of the western
the oceans. Am. Comm.
pp., New York.

(Monachus tropicalis).

7. Allen, J. A. 1908. The North Atlantic right whale and
Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 24:277-329.



its near allies.

8. Anonymous. 1976a.
July-August, p

Rare right whales sighted.
). 53.

South Carolina Wildl.

9. Anonymous. 1976b.
Wildl. March-

Pare whale photographed

near Beaufort.

South Carolina

10. Backus, R. H.

11. Baughman, J.

1961. Stranded killer whale

in the Bahamas.

L. 1946. On the occurrence of a rorqual
J. Mammal. 27:392-393.

J. Mammal.

whale on the Texas

12. Breuer, J. F. 1951. Gilchrist's


Texas Game and Fish 9:24-25.

13. Brimley, C. S. 1944. Mammals
Carolina Tips 7(6):22.

of North Carolina.


14. Brimley, C. S. 1946. The Mammals of North Carolina.
and 18. Carolina Tips 9(1):2 and 9(2):6.

15. Brimley, H. H. 1894. Whale fishing in North Carolina.
Smithsonian Institution, National Museum.

16. Brimley, H. H.
J. Mammal.

Installments 17

The Bulletin,

1937. The false killer whale on the North Carolina Coast.

17. Brimley, H.

H. 1943. A
mirus True,

second specimen of

from North


True's beaked whale, Meso-
J. Mammal. 24:199-203.


No. 6,

Table 2. Continued.
Literature records

18. Brimley, H. H. 1945. Kogia breviceps and Mesoplodon mirus in the neigh-
borhood of the Oregon Inlet, North Carolina. J. Mammal. 26:434.

19. Brown, S. G. 1958. Whales observed in the
Observer 28(181-182):142-146, 209-216.

Atlantic Ocean.

The Marine

20 Brown, D. H., D. K. Caldwell,
the behavior of wild an

and M. C. Caldwell. 1966. Observations on
d captive false killer whales, with notes on

associated behavior of the other genera of captive delphinids.
Ang. Cty. Mus. Contrib. Sci. 95:1-32.

21. Bruyns, W. F. J. M. 1969. Sight records and
whale, Pseudorca crassidens (Owens, 1846).

notes on the false killer
SAugetierkundliche Mitt.

22. Bullis, H. F

., and J. C. Moore.

1956. Two occurrences

and summary of American records. An. Mus.

of false killer
Novit. 1756:1-5.

23. Burghard, A. 1935. Whaling in Florida waters.

Fla. Convervator 1(10):4-5.

24. Caldwell, D. K. 1954.
dolphin. J. Mammal.

Evidence of home range

of an Atlantic bottlenose

25. Caldwell, D. K. 1955. Notes on the spotted dolphin, Stenella plagiodon,
and the first record of the common dolphin, Delphinus delphis, in
the Gulf of Mexico. J. Mammal. 36:467-470.

26. Caldwell, D. K.
Mexico. J.

27. Caldwell, D. K.

1960. Notes on the spotted dolphin
Mammal. 41:134-136.

in the Gulf of

1961. The harbor seal in South Carolina. J. Mammal.

28. Caldwell, D. K. 1964. A new record for the beaked


from Jamaica.

Caribb. J. Sci. 4(4):547.

whale, Mesoplodon

29. Caldwell, D. K., and M. C. Caldwell. 1966. Observations
bution, coloration, behavior, and audible sound production


Stenella plaqiodon.

on the distri-
of the spotted

Los Ang. Cty. Mus. Contrib. Sci. 104:1-27.

30. Caldwell, D. K., and M. C. Caldwell. 1969a. The harbor
vitulina concolor, in Florida. J. Mammal. 50:379-380.

seal, Phoca

31. Caldwell, D. K., and M. C. Caldwell. 1969b. Gray's dolphin, Stenella
styx, in the Gulf of Mexico. J. Mammal. 50:612-614.

32. Caldw

'ell, D. K., and M. C. Caldwell. 1971a. Porpoise
southern Caribbean--present utilization and fu
Proc. 23rd Annu. Sess. Gulf Caribb. Fish. Inst. pp.

fisheries in the
ture potentials.



Table 2. Continued.

Literature records

33. Caldwell, D. K., and M. C. Caldwell. 1971b. The pygmy killer whale,
Feresa attenuata, in the western Atlantic, with a summary of world
records. J. Mammals. 52:206-207.

34. Caldwell, D. K., and M. C. Caldwell.
cetaceans stranded in Florida.

1971c. Sounds
Cetology 4:1-6.

produced by

35. Caldwell, D. K., and M. C. Caldwell. 1971d. Underwater

produced by

captive spotted dolphins,

Stenella plagiod

pulse sounds
ion. Cetology

36. Caldwell, D. K., and M. C. Caldwell.
ern Gulf of Mexico. Pages III -
M. 0. Rinkel, R. E. Smith, eds.
ern Gulf of Mexico. The State U
of Oceanography, Gainesville.

37. Caldwell, D. K., and

M. C.

southeastern United States:
704-722 in A socioeconomic

Cal dwell.

1973. Marine mammals of the east-
1-1-23 in J. I. Jones, R. E. Ring,
summary of knowledge of the east-
iversity System Florida, Institute

1974. Marine mammals from the

Cape Hatteras

south Atlantic region between Cape Hatter
eral, Fla. Virginia Inst. Marine Sci. vol.

38. Caldwell, D. K., and M. C. Caldwell
shortsnouted spinner dolphins in

39. Caldwell, D. K., and D.
Indies. J. Mammal.

40. Caldwell, D. K., and H.
tlenosed dolphins.

41. Caldwell, D. K., an
of Georgia to C

42. Caldwell, D. K., M.
individual str
in Florida. J.

S. Erdman.

to Cape Canaveral. Pages
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as, N.C. and Cape Canav-
3, Gloucester Point, Va.

1975. Pygmy killer whales and
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1963. The pilot whale in the West

M. Fields. 1959. Surf-riding
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d F. B. Golley. 1965. Marine mammals
tape Hatteras. J. Elisha Mitchell Sci.

C. Caldwell, and C. M. Walker,
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by Atlantic bot-

from the coast
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1970. Mass and

Pseudorca crassidens

43. Caldwell, D. K., M. C. Caldwell, and S. G. Zam. 1971. A preliminary
report on some ectoparasites and nasal-sac parasites from small
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44. Caldwell, D. K., A. Inglis, and J. B. Siebenaler. 1960. Sperm and pygmy
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45. Caldwell

, D. K., J. N. Layne, and J.
ler whale (Orcinus orca) from
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B. Siebenaler. 1
the northeastern

956. Notes on a
Gulf of Mexico.


two rare

Table 2. Continued.
Literature records

46. Caldwell, D. K., W. F. Rathjen, and M. C. Caldwell. 1970. Pilot whales
mass stranded at Nevis, West Indies. Q. J. Fl. Acad. Sci. 33(4):

47. Caldwell, D. K., H. Neuhauser, M. C. Caldwell,
Recent records of marine mammals from
South Carolina. Cetology 5:1-12.

and H. W. Coolidge. 1971.
the coasts of Georgia and

48. Caldwell, M. C., D. K. Caldw
tions on captive wild
truncatus, in the north
Contrib. Sci. 91:1-10.

ell, and J. B. Siebena
Atlantic bottlenosed
eastern Gulf of Mexico.


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dolphins, Tursiops
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49. Cope, E. D. 1865. Second contribution to a history
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50. Cuni, L. A. 1910. Contribucion al
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51. Davis, W. B.

52. Davis, W. B.

53. DeKay, J. E.

54. Donnelley,

55. Erdma

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Tex. Parks Wildl.

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Dep. Bull.

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Marine mammals from Puerto Rico to Antigua.

56. Essapian, F. S. 1954. A co
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57. Essapian, F. S.

58. Essapian, F. S.

mmon dolphin--uncommonly marked.

1955. Pygmy sperm whale strands.

1962. An al

catus, captured in


Everglades Nat.

bino bottlenosed dolphin, Tursiops
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59. Fonta

neda, Do. de Escalanta. 1945. Memoir of Do. de
respecting Florida (translated and annotated by
and original). Miami. 77 pp.

;calanta Fontaneda
Buckingham Smith,



Table 2. Continued.
Literature records

60. Gilnore, R. M. 1

959. Is the West Indian

seal extinct?

Sea Frontiers

61. Golley, F. B. 1966.
XV, Charleston, S.

Mammals of South Carolina. Cont. Charleston

181 pp.

62. Gunter, G. 1941. A record of the long-snouted

iodon (Cope),

63. Gunter, G. 1942.
dolphin, Tursi
ticular refere

from the Texas coast. J. Ma

Contributions to the natural


dolphin, Stenella
ial. 22:447-448.

history of the bottlenose

truncatus (Montague), on the Texas coast with
to food habits. J. Mammal. 23:267-276.

1946. Records of the blackfish or pilot whale

Coast. J. Mammal. 27:374-377.

65. Gunter, G. 1947. Sight records of the West Indian
calis (Gray), from the Texas coast. J. Mammal.

66. Gunter, G. 1951. Consumption
Mammal. 32:465-466.

from the Texas

seal, Monachus tropi-

of shrimp by the bottle-nosed dolphin.

67. Gunte

r, G. 1954. Mammals of the Gulf of Mexico. Pa
Galtsoff, ed. The Gulf of Mexico, its origin,
life. U.S. Fish. Wildl. Serv. Fish. Bull. 89.

ges 543-551 in P. E.
waters, and marine

68. Gunter, G. 1955. Blainville's beaked whale, Mesoplodon densirostris,
the Texas coast. J. Mammal. 36:573-574.

69. Gunter, G. 1968. The s
of feral otarriid

tatus of seals

in the Gulf of Mexico with a record

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70. Gunter, G., and J. Y. Christmas. 1973. Stranding
whale, Balaenoptera physalus, from Mississippi
whale, Ziphius cavirostris, from Louisiana.

71. Gunter, G., and R. Overstreet. 1974. Ceta
qual whales on the Mississippi coast,
sperm whale in Mississippi Sound and i
Res. Rep. 4(3):479-481.

72. Gunter, G., C. L. Hubbs, and M. A. Beal. 1
ceps from Texas with remarks on mov

Mammal. 36


records of a finback
and the goose-beaked
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cean notes. I. Sei and ror-
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955. Records of Kogia brevi-
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73. Hall, E. R., and K. R. Kelson. 1959. The mammals
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of North America.


64. Gunter, G.


ol aq-


Table 2. Continued.

Literature records

74. Hamilton, W. J., Jr. 1941. Notes on some mammals
Am. Midi. Nat. 25(3):686-691.

75. Hansen, K. L., and H. F. Weaver.

goose-beaked whale.

of Lee County,


1963. Another Florida record of the

J. Mammal. 44:575.

76. Harmer, S. F. 1924.
Soc. 36:541-587.

On Mesoplodon and other beaked whales.

Proc. Zool.

77. Hoese, H. D. 1971. Dolphin
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feeding out of water in a salt marsh.

78. Holder, J. B. 1883.
Hist. 1:99-113.

79. Hutton, J.

80. James, P.,

The Atlantic right whales.

1950. On a Bahamas


F. W. Judd, and J. C. Moore.

occurrence of the

pigmy killer wha

81. Kellogg, R. 1943. Past and present
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Bull. Am. Mus. Nat.

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1970. First western Atlantic
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tatus of the marine mammals of
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82. Kellogg, R. 1958. Goosebeak whale from North Carolina.

83. Kritzler, H.

1949. The pilot whale at Marineland.

84. Kritzler, H. 1952. Observations
Mammal. 33:321-334.

85. Layne, J. N.
Bull. Fl.

1965. Observations
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on the pilot whale

on marine mammals

J. Mammal. 39:440.

Nat. Hist. 58(7):

in captivity.

in Florida waters.

86. Leath

erwood, J. S
nosed dolphi
and Tursiops
and Nayarit,

S1975. Observations of feeding behavior of
ns Tursiops truncatus in the northern Gulf of
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87. Leatherwood, J. S. 1979.
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the Indian and Bana

Aerial survey of the bottlenosed dolphin, Tur-
the West Indian manatee, Trichechus manatus, in
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88. Lewis, C. B. 1954. Whales in Jamaican waters.
Nat. Hist. Notes 65:75.

89. Lowery, G.

H., Jr.

waters. Occas.

1943. Checklist of mammals
Pap. Mus. Zool., Louisian

Nat. Hist. Soc. Jamaica,

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Table 2. Continued.

90. Lowery, G. H.

91. McBride, A. F.

Literature records

1974. The mammals of Louisiana and
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1940. Meet Mister Porpoise.

92. McBride, A. F., and D. 0. Hebb. 1948.
nosed dolphin, Tursiops truncatus.

93. Mead, J. G.
by the

adjacent waters.

Nat. Hist. 45:16-29.

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Smithsonian Institution. Und<

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94. Mead, J. G. 1975. Distribution
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of cetaceans along the Atlantic
Unpubl. Ms., 3 November 1975.

95. Mead, J. G. 1977. Records of Sei and Bryde's

coast of the Uniti
Rep. Int. Whaling


ed States, the Gulf of Mexico,
Comm., special issue 1:113-116.

and Gulf

s from the Atlantic
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96. Mercer, M. C.
western No

97. Miller, G. S.

98. Miller, G. S.
Proc. U.S.

in pig
rth At


on distribution

and intraspecific

mentation patterns of odontocete cetacea in
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1917. A hooded seal in Florida. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash.

1920. American records of whales of the genus Pseudorca.
Natl. Mus. 57:205-207.

99. Miller, G. S., Jr. 1924. A pollack whale
National Museum by the Miami Aquarium
Mus. 66(4):1-15.

100. Miller, G. S., Jr. 1928. The pollack
Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 41:171.


from Florida presented to the
association. Proc. U.S. Natl.

whale in the Gulf of Campeche.

101. Miller, G. S.,

Jr., and R.
Bull. U.S.

Kellogg. 1955. List
Natl. Mus. 205:1-954.

of North American recent

102. Mitchell, E. D. (ed.). 1975. Report of the meeting on smaller cetaceans.
Montreal, April 1-11, 1974. J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 32(7):889-983.

103. Moore, J. C. 1946.
Mammal. 27:49-59.


from Welaka, Putnam County, Florida.

104. Moore, J. C.
Am. Midl.

1953. Distribution
Nat. 49:117-158.

of marine mammals

in Florida waters.

105. Moore, J. C. 1955. Bottle-nosed
Mammal. 36:466-467.

dolphins support remains


of young.

Table 2. Continued.

Literature records

106. Moore, J. C. 1958. A beaked whale from the Bahama

on the distribution

of Mesoplodon densirostris.

Islands and


Am. Mus. Novit.

107. Moore, J. C. 1960. New records of the Gulf-Stream be
plodon gervaisi, and some taxonomic considerations.


ed whale, Meso-
Am. Mus. Novit.

108. Moore, J. C. 1966.

Diagnoses and distribution

genus Mesoplodon known from
K. S. Norris, ed. Whales,
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North American
dolphins, and pc

of beaked whales of the
waters. Pages 32-61 in
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109. Moore, J. C., and E. Clark. 1963. Discovery of
of Mexico. Science 14:269.

right whales

in the Gulf

110. Moore, J. C., and R
North Atlantic.

. S. Palmer.

1955. More piked whales

J. Mammal. 36:429-433.

from southern

111. Moore, J. C., and F. G. Wood
whales Mesoplodon mirus

, Jr. 1957.


and Mesoplodon gervaisi.

between the beaked
Am. Mus. Novit.

112. Mowbr

ay, L. L. 1939. Certain citizens
fishes. National Geographic Society,

of the warm seas.
Washington, D.C.

113. Negus, N. C., and R. K. Chapman. 1956. A record of the
Balaenoptera acutorostrata, off the Louisiana coast.
Acad. Sci. 19:41-42.

114. Newman, H. H. 1910. A large sperm
Science, N.S. 31(799):631-632.

The book of

piked whale,
Proc. La.

whale captured in Texas waters.

115. Nichols, J. T. 1920.
J. Mammal. 1:87.

Red bat and spotted porpoise

off the Carolinas.

116. Odell, D. K. 1976. Distribution and abundance of marine mammals in the
waters of the Everglades National Park. Pages 673-681 in R. M. Linn,
ed. Proceedings of the first conference on scientific research in
the National Parks. Trans. Natl. Park Serv. 5, U.S. Dep. Interior.

117. Paul, J. R.

1968. Risso's dolphin,
J. Mammal. 49:746-748.

Grampus griseus,

in the Gulf of

118. Perrin, W. F., E. D. Mitchell, P. J. H. van Bree,
1977. Spinner dolphins, Stenella spp., in th(
of paper presented at the second conference on
mammals, San Diego, Calif.

and D. K. Caldwell.

e Atlantic.
the biology

119. Piers, H. 1923. Accidental occurrence of the pygmy sperm whale
breviceps) on the coast of Nova Scotia: an extension of the


of marine


Table 2, Continued,


Literature records

with remarks on the probability of the former presence in
waters of the true sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus).
Trans. Nova Scotia Inst. Sci., Halifax 15:95-114.

120. Rankin, J. J. 1953. First record of the rare beaked whale Mesoplodon
europaeus Gervais, from the West Indies. Nature 172:873.

121. Rankin, J. J. 1955. A rare whale in tropical seas. Everglades Nat.
Hist. 3:26-31.

122, Rankin, J. J.

123. Raun, G. G. 19
coastal soi

124. Raun, G. G,, H.
genus Kogla

125. Raven, H. C. 1S
of Mesoplo,
Novit. 905:

126. Reeves, R. R.,

1956. The structure of
gervaisi Deslongchamps.

64. West
uth Texas.

the skulls of the beaked whales,
J. Morphol. 99:329-358.

Indian seal remains from two historic
Bull. Texas Arch. Soc. 35:189-191.

D. Hoese, and F. Moseley. 1970. P2
,on the Texas coast. Texas J. Sci. 21

937. Notes on the taxonomy and osteol
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and J. G. Mead. 1978. The right
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sites in


ogy of two species
True). Am. Mus.

whale, Eubalaena
Int. Whaling Comm.

127. Rice, D. 1965. Bryde's whale in the Gulf of Mexico. Norsk Hvalfangst-
Tidende 5:114-115.

128. Richardson,

129. Scaramuzza,

J. I. 1973. A confirmed occurrence of the rough-toothed
(Steno bredanensis) on the Atlantic coast of the United
J.Mammal. 54:275.

L. S. 1943. Captura de un cachalote en la costa sur de
Mem. Soc. Cubana Hist. Nat. 17(2):141-142.

130. Schmidly, D. J., and B. A. Melcher. 1974. Annotated checklist and key
to the cetaceans of Texas waters. Southwest. Nat. 18(4):453-464.

131. Schmidly, D.

J., and S.
fauna of

H. Shane. 1978. A biological assessment of the
the Texas coast. National Technical Information
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132. Schmidly, D. J.,
Cuvier's dol
nomic status

M. H. Beleau, and H. H
phin from the Gulf of
of Stenella frontalis.

Mexico with
J. Mammal

1972. First record of
comments on the taxo-

133. Schmidly, D. J., C. 0. Martin, and G. F. Collins. 1972. First occur-
rence of a black whale (Balaena glacialis) along the Texas coast.
Southwest. Nat. 17:214-215.


Table 2. Continued.

Literature records

134. Shane, S. H.
M.S. Thes

1977. The population
Tursiops truncatus,
is, Texas A & M Univer

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of Texas.

135. Shane, S. H., and D. J. Schmidly. 1
edeni) from the Louisiana coast.

)76. Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera
Southwest. Nat. 21(3):409-410.

136. Shane, S. H., and D. J. Schmidly.
Atlantic bottlenose dolphin,
area of Texas. National Tech

137. Siebenaler,

B., and D. K. Caldwell.
J. Mammal. 37:126-128.

1979. The population


Tursiops truncatus, in the
nical Information Service,

1956. Cooperation

ology of the
Aransas Pass

among adult

138. Smalley, A. E. 1959. Pygmy sperm whale

139. Stephens, W. M.


in Georgia.

Sperm whale stranded.

140. Stick, D. 1958. The Outer Banks
sity of North Carolina Press,

of North Car
Chapel Hill,

J. Mammal. 40:452.

Sea Frontiers 11:362-367.

olina 1584-1958. Univer-
N.C. 352 pp.

141. Struhsaker, P. 1967. An occurrence of the Minke whale, Balaenoptera
acutorostrata, near the northern Bahama Islands. J. Mammal. 48:483.

142. Sutherland, D.

L., and L. L.
(Cope): underwa
Cetology 27:1-9.

May. 1977. Spi
ter observations

dotted dolphins, Stenella
using an unmanned sub-

143. Tomkins, I. R. 1934. A pygmy sperm
entrance. J. Mammal. 15:250-251.

144. Townsend, C. H. 1906. Capture of
calis) at Key West, Florida.

145. Townsend, C. H.

146. Townsend, C. H.

whale from the Savannah River

the West In
Science, N.S

1914. The porpoise in captiv

1923. The West Indian


dian seal (Monachus tropi-
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ity. Zoologica 1:289-299.

J. Mammal. 4:55.

147. Townsend, C. H. 1935. The distribution of certain whales as
logbook records of American whaleships. Zoologica 19:3-50.

shown by

148. True, F. W. 1884a. IV. On a spotted dolphin apparently identical with
the Prodelphinus doris of Gray. Rep. U.S. Natl. Mus. 1884:317-330.

149. True, F. W. 1884b. Aquatic
national Fisheries Exhi
Office, Washington, D.C.

150. True, F. W

mammals of the United States.


London, 1883.


Great Inter-
ent Printing

. 1885. Notice of the capture of a male pygmy sperm whale --
breviceps -- at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Bull. U.S. Fish.

Table 2. Continued.
Literature records

151. True, F. W. 1889. Contributions to the natural history of the ceta-
ceans, a review of the family Delphinidae. Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus.

152. True, F. W. 1890. Observations on the life history
porpoise. Proc. U.S. Natl. Mus. 13(812):197-203.

153. True, F. W. 1904. The whalebone whales
Contr. to Knowl. vol. 33, 332 pp.

of the bottlenose

of the North Atlantic.


154. True, F. W. 1910. An account
dae in the collections of
remarks on some specimens
Natl. Mus. 73:1-89.

155. True,

F. W.

1913. Description

recently discovered on the
Natl. Mus. 45:651-657.

156. True, F. W., and F. A.
tropicalis Gray).

Lucas. 18
Rep. U.S.

of the beaked whales

of the family Ziphi-

the United States National Museum,
in other American museums. Bull.

of Mesoplodon mirum, a bea
coast of North Carolina.

84. On the West Indian seal
Natl. Mus. 1884:331-335.

iked whale
Proc. U.S.


157. Ulmer, F. A. 1941a. Kogia breviceps
J. Mammal. 22:450-451.

in South Carolina and New Jersey.

158. Ulmer, F. A. 1941b. Mesoplodon mirus in New Jersey, with additional
notes on the New Jersey M. de"nsirostris, and a list and key to the
ziphoid whales of the Atlantic coast of North America. Proc. Phil.
Acad. Nat. Sci. 93:107-122.

159. Ulmer, F. A. 1947. A s
Mammal. 28:184-185.

160. Varona, L. S. 1964. Un
Pinos. Poeyana, Se

161. Varona, L. S. 1965. B
capturada en Cuba.

second Florida

record of Mesoplodon europaeus.

craneo de Ziphius cavirostris del
r. A. No. 4:1-3.

aalaenoptera borealis Lisson (Mammalia:
Poeyana, Ser. A., No. 7:1-4.

sur de Isla de


162. Villa-R, B. 1969. La ballena rorcual

borealis Lesson,
Biol., Univ. Nat.

1828, en la costa
Anton. Mexico 40,

o ballena de aleta, Balaenoptera
de Veracruz, Mexico. An. Inst.
Ser. Zool. (1):129-138.

163. Vinten, C. R. 1943. The noddy and sooty te
tugas, Fort Jefferson National Monument:
Fl. Nat. 16:53-54.

rn colonies of the Dry Tor-

a summary of

the records.

164. Waldo, E. 1957. Whales in the Gulf of Mexico. La. Conserv. 9(4):13-15.

165. White, J. R.

1976. A pygmy killer
Fl. Sci. 39(1):37-41.

whale found on the east coast of


Table 2. Continued.
Literature records
166. Winn, L. K., H. E. Winn, D. K. Caldwell, M. C. Caldwell, and J. L. Dunn.
1979. Report on marine mammals. Prepared by Center for Natural
Areas, Washington, D.C., for the Bureau of Land Management. 99 pp.

167. Wood, F. G., Jr., and J. C. Moore. 1954. The mystery whale of Vilano
Beach. Everglades Nat. Hist. 2(3):136-142.

Unpublished data sources

Smithsonian Event Alert Network (SEAN), Smithsonian Institution, Museum of
History, Washington, D.C.

168. SEAN, vol. 1, 1975-1976.

169. SEAN, vol. 2, 1977.

170. SEAN, vol. 3, 1978.

171. SEAN, vol. 4, 1979.

172. Southeast Region Marine Mammal Stranding Network. U.S. Dep. of Commerce,
NMFS. Duval Bldg., 9450 Koger Blvd., St. Petersburg, Fla. 33702.

173. James G. Mead Stranding File, U.S. Natl. Museum, Washington, D.C., per-
sonal communication.

174. David R. Caldwell, Marine Research Lab., St. Augustine, Fla., personal

175. Bridge log observations, U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service research
vessels, Pascagoula Laboratory, National Marine Fisheries Service,
Pascagoula, Miss.

176. American Museum of Natural History, New York, N.Y.

177. British Museum of Natural History, London, England.

178. Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, Calif.

179. Charleston Museum of Natural History, Charleston, S.C.

180. Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, Pa.

181. Centenary College Vertebrate Collection, Shreveport, La.

182. Museo Poey de Zoologica de Habana, Habana, Cuba.

183. Everglades National Park Reference Collection, Homestead, Fla.

184. Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Ill.



Table 2. Continued.
Museum Specimens

185. The Florida State Museum, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.

186. University of Georgia Museum of Natural History, Athens, Ga.

187. Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvest University, Cambridge, Mass.

188. Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, Tex.

189. Museum of Natural History, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

190. Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles, Calif.

191. Louisiana State University, Museum of Zoology, Baton Rouge, La.

192. McNeese State University Vertebrate Museum, Lake Charles, La.

193. University of Miami, Department of Zoology, Miami, Fla.

194. The Museum, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Tex.

195. North Carolina State University, Department of Zoology, Raleigh, N.C.

196. North Carolina State Museum, Raleigh, N.C.

197. Pan American University, Marine Lab, Brownsville, Tex.

198. Philadelphia Academy of Sciences, Philadelphia, Pa.

199. Sam Houston State University Vertebrate Natural History Collection,
Huntsville, Tex.

200. University of South Alabama, Mobile, Ala.

201. University of Southwestern Louisiana, Biology Museum, Lafayette, La.

202. Stetson University Vertebrate Collection, Dept. of Biology, Deland, Fla.

203. Texas Cooperative Wildlife Collection, Texas A&M University, College Sta-
tion, Tex.

204. Texas Memorial Museum, Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory, University of
Texas, Austin, Tex.

205. Systematic and Environmental Biology Laboratory, Tulane University, Belle
Chasse, La.

206. United States National Museum, Washington, D.C.

207. Zoology Museum, University College of the West Indies, Jamaica.

Data from aerial surveys

208. BLM project, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife
Laboratory (now Denver Wildlife Research Center), Belle Chasse, La.


Order Cetacea

Family Balaenidae


Eubalaena glacialis (Muller 1776)

Other Common Names Black right whale.

Other Scientific Names Balaena glacialis, Balaena cisarctica.

Description and Identification

Right whales reach a length of about 53 ft (16.2 m). Thi
lacks a dorsal fin or dorsal ridge, and the upper jaw is long
together with the lips, highly arched. A series of bumps or
referred to as the "bonnet," is on the top of the head in front
holes. The two blowholes are widely separated; consequently,
projected upwards in a V-shape as two distinct spouts. The
sometimes black, but more often brown or mottled with a region of
chin and belly, and sometimes with numerous small grayish-white
erwood et al. 1976).

Srotund body
,narrow, and
of the blow-
the blow is
dark body is
white on the
scars (Leath-


Right whales occur in the temperate waters of the North Atlantic, the
North Pacific, and the Southern Hemisphere. The southern populations are dis-
tinguishable as a separate subspecies (E. g. australis) from E. _. glacialis
of the North Atlantic (Rice 1977). In the western North Atlantic, right whales
are distributed from Iceland to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, but their
range was probably greater during prewhaling days (Leatherwood et al. 1976).

Records are numerous for the Atlantic portion of the study area (Figure
3) where these whales commonly pass along the coast from North Carolina to
Florida during their winter and spring migrations (Winn et al. 1979). They
have been recorded only twice in the Gulf of Mexico, and their status there is
questionable. Moore and Clark (1963) reported two right whales off New Pass,
near Saratoga, Florida, on 10 March 1963. More recently, on 30 January 1972,
one washed ashore near Freeport, Brazoria County, Texas (Schmidly et al.

Seasonal Movements

these are
(Table 4).

two exceptions
from the study
of females wi
There are no

(one in November and one in May), all strandings and
area are from January through April, and most of
th calves observed in January, February, or March
records in the study area from June through October.


Figure 3. Distribution of the r
this and all other maps are as fo
aerial sightings; 0 capture;
capture; C stranding + sight
See text for additional explanati



ght whale, Eubalaena glacialis. Symbols for
lows: stranding; Q sighting; ,
A stranding + sighting; Z sighting +



+ capture; and

[] stranding + capture.

Apparently, these whales move north along the eastern Florida coast between
early January and late March. They also have been observed off southwestern
Florida and Texas in the Gulf of Mexico during this time. Right whales pass
the New England coast in fair numbers in spring and continue as far north as
Nova Scotia. Not much is known of the southbound migration, but apparently it
occurs much farther offshore, which would account for the scarcity of records
in the southern areas from April through December. From October to January
right whales are sighted off Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, probably
on a southward migration (Winn et al. 1979).

Status and Abundance

Right whales were once
ever, overhunting, up until
to Mitchell (1973), the wes
"high 10's to low 100's,"

very common in the western North Atlantic; how-
1953, reduced them to near extinction. According
tern North Atlantic population may number in the
although no accurate information is available.

Increased sighting reports over the past 25 years at the northern and
southern coastal approaches in New England and Florida, respectively, may be
cause for some optimism regarding the population's recovery and recolonization
of their historic range. They were protected by international agreement in
1929, and since then the western North Atlantic population has evidently
increased so that it is now infringing into the Gulf of Mexico, as evidenced
by two sightings in the last 20 years. These whales are considered endangered
by U.S. authorities (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1973), and are so listed
in the Red Data Book (IUCN 1972).

Right whales approach very close to the coast on the United States
eastern seaboard where pairs and females with calves are often sighted only
several hundred meters offshore. Because of these habits, they are threatened
by pollution, habitat destruction, and ship traffic (Winn et al. 1979). They
are not easily startled and may be readily approached by vessels (Prescott
et al. 1979).

Life History

No data are available on life history parameters from the study area.
Mating probably occurs in late summer; the gestation period is assumed to be
about a year, and the length of the young at birth is about one-fourth that of
the mother (Walker 1975). Calves are suckled for about a year. Right whales
feed by "skimming," at or below the surface, on copepods and euphausids. Spe-
cific dietary items include Calanus finmarchius and Thysanoessa inermis
(Gaskin 1976). One instance has been recorded of a right whale taking small
pelagic pteropod mollusks.

Records of Occurrence

uad North Carolina: Beaufort (7,
1, 140, 153, 189).

Quad 3 North Carolina: Hatteras Isl
Ocracoke Island (126).

14, 41, 153, 196); Cape Lookout

(7, 15,

and, 35031'N, 75 28'W (171); 4.8 km E

Quad 4 South Carolina: Edi
near Beaufort (8, 126);
80007'W (169); Savannah

Island, Edingsvil
Royal (2, 126).
94, 126, 206).

le Beach (37, 94, 126, Zul,
Georgia: Savannah, 32004'N,

Quad 5 South
78, 126);
near Charl

Carolina: Myrtle
Charleston, Charles
eston, 8.5 ni N Edis

Beach (37, 61, 126);
ton Harbor (7, 41, 61
;to River entrance (8,

,78, 126,

Island (2,
153, 179);

Quad 8 Georgia: McIntosh
E Jekyll Island, 31003
Neptune Beach (34); St.

Co., Sapelo
'N, 81023'W
Johns Co.,

Island, Nannygoat Beach (186);
(171); Florida: Jacksonville
Ponte Vedra Beach (85).

Quad 12 Florida: Vilano Beach, 29056'N, 81017'W (169); St. Johns Co., 2 mi
off St. Augustine (85); St. Johns Co., 1 mi off Crescent Beach (85); St.
Johns Co., Summer Haven (85); Flagler Co., 1.5 mi N Marineland (85);
Flagler Co., Marineland (85); Flagler Co., off Marineland (104); Flagler
Co., 2 mi S Flagler Beach (85); Flagler Co., N Flagler Beach (85);
Flagler Co., Flagler Beach, 29028'N, 81007'W (104); Volusia Co., Daytona
Beach (85, 104); near Cape Canaveral, 28013'N, 80020'W (166); Brevard
Co., Canova Beach (85); S Melbourne, 28004'N, 80038'W (168).

Quad 16 Indian River Co.,
W Palm Beach, 26042'N,

Vero Beach (85); Martin Co.,
80005'W (169); Pompano, Hill

N Jupiter Inlet (85);
sboro Lighthouse (23,

Quad 25 Texas: Brazoria Co., Surfside Beach

Quad 39 Florida: Manatee Co., New Pass (36,

Not plotted

(90, 132).


North Carolina: Asheville (187).

Family Balaenopteridae


Balaenoptera musculus (Linnaeus 1758)

Other Common Names Sulphur-bottom whale.

Other Scientific Names

- Sibbaldus musculus, Sibbaldius tectirostris.

Description and Identification

Blue whales are the largest living mammals. In the North Atlantic, they
may reach lengths of 80 to 85 ft (24.4 to 25.9 m); females are slightly larger
than males of the same age (Leatherwood et al. 1976). These whales are easily
distinguished by their large size; bluish, often mottled coloration; broad,
flat, U-shaped head with a single ridge extending from just in front of the
blowholes almost to the tip of the snout; and a small dorsal fin (only 13
inches, 33 cm, tall) which is positioned well aft on the animal.

9.5 km


Blue whales occur in all oceans of the world, but are partial to cold
water and seem to avoid warmer waters (Kellogg 1929). Three subspecies are
recognized: a small one, B. m. musculus, in the North Atlantic and North
Pacific; a large one, B. m. intermedia, that spends the summer in Antarctic
waters; and a pygmy subspecies, B. m. brevicauda, in the southern Indian Ocean
(Rice 1977). There are only two records of this species from the study area
(Figure 4), and both are from the Gulf of Mexico. One is of a single individ-
ual stranded 17 August 1940 between Freeport and San Luis Pass, Brazoria
County, along the Texas coast (Schmidly and Melcher 1974). However, the iden-
tification of this specimen has been questioned (see Caldwell and Caldwell
1973). The other record is of an individual beached near the mouth of Sabine
Pass, Louisiana, in early December 1924. Lowery (1974) identifies this animal
as B. physalus, but Pead (conversation in November 1979 with James G. Mead,
United States National Museum, Washington, D.C. 20560) says it is definitely
a blue whale. No records from the Atlantic portion of the study area exist.

Seasonal Fovements

Blue whales concentrate in the northern portion of their range, front New-
foundland to the Arctic Circle, during the spring and summer where they feed
on the krill which is abundant in those waters (Kellogg 1929). In fall and
winter they move south into temperate and perhaps to tropical waters. Records
in the study area are from August and December (Table 4).

Status and Abundance

Blue whales were extensively hunted throughout the North Atlantic until
the early 1950's, and they only now are beginning to recover from this exploi-
tation. They have been protected by international agreement since 1966.
Gulland (1972) estimates there may be as many as 12,000 individuals remaining
and, according to Leatherwood et al. (1976), there are sufficient numbers for
them to continue to increase barring renewed exploitation. Blue whales are
listed as endangered by U.S. authorities (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1973)
and the Red Data Book (IUCN 1972).

Life History

No data are available on life history parameters from the study area.
Blue whales usually occur singly or in pairs. In the southern oceans peak
pairing occurs between April and June. After a gestation period of about 11
months, calving occurs between March and June with a lactation period of 7
months (Gaskin 1976). Blue whales are relatively shallow feeders, feeding
almost exclusively on krill, most of which is distributed 100 m below the sur-
face (Leatherwood et al. 1976). Specific dietary items in the North Atlantic
include Thysanoesa inermis, Temora longicornis, and Meganyctiphanes norveqica
(Gaskin 1976).

Records of Occurrence

Quad 25 Texas: Brazoria Co., between Freeport and San Luis Pass (1, 51, 52,
90, 130).

Quad 26 Louisiana: near mouth Sabine Pass (90, 173).

I w a Sr W ,- w w .r or .ar wl r dw

Jr Jr *5 a.* tS I *?

Figure 4. Distribution of the blue whale, Palacnortera r'usculus.
for Figure 3 and text for explanation of syrhols.

See legend


Balaenoptera borealis Lesson

Other Common Names Pollack whale.

Other Scientific Names None.

Description and Identification

i whales may
ray on the
nce due to

reach a total I
back and sides,
the presence of

ength of 62 ft (19 m).
and they often have a
ovoid, grayish scars

Their color
shiny or gal

They differ from all other balaenopterids by the very fine bristles of
aleen (about C.1 mm in diameter at the base of the bristle, as opposed
t 0.3 mm or greater for the other species). Their relatively short
grooves distinguish them from all other species except the minke whale
torostrata). In B. borealis and B. acutorostrata, the ventral grooves
point about midway between the flipper and the umbilicus, whereas they
he umbilicus in the other species. B. borealis may be readily distin-
from B. acutorostrata on the basis of size, pigmentation, and the
nd texture of the baleen (Mead 1977). Their right lower lip and mouth
unlike those of fin whales (E. physalus), is uniformly gray. Their
intermediate in shape between that of blue (B. musculus) and fin
Their tall, falcate dorsal fin, located more than one-third forward
e tail, distinguishes them from blue whales. From Bryde's whale (B.

edeni), they differ

in having a single head ridge instead of three.


Sei whales occur in all oceans, but they are rare in tropical and polar
seas. Two subspecies are distinguished: a smaller one, B. b. borealis, in
the Northern Hemisphere and a larger one, B. b. seklegelli, in the Southern
Hemisphere. Sei whales are widely distributed in nearshore and offshore
waters of the western North Atlantic from the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean
to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland (Leatherwood et al. 1976). Three stocks may
exist: a Newfoundland/Labrador stock probably limited to the waters around
Newfoundland and Labrador to Davis Strait; a Nova Scotia stock that probably
migrates southward along the U.S. coast; and a Caribbean/Gulf of texico stock
that ray migrate and overlap with the Nova Scotia stock.

Sei whales have been recorded from North Carolina and South Carolina in
the Atlantic portion of the study area; records of their occurrence in the
Gulf of Mexico are limited to strandines from Campeche, Mexico, and from the
coasts of tississippi and Louisiana (Figure 5). tloore (1953) recorded a spec-
imen from Cuval County, Florida, but Vead (1977) has subsequently referred
this specimen to Balaenoptera cf. edeni.

Seasonal Movenents

The distributions and migrations of sei whales during most of
are poorly known. Records in the study area are from April and

the year

steel g
their b
to abou
(B. acu
reach a
reach t
color a
head is
from th

Figure 5. Distribution nap of the sei whale, Ealaenoptera
legend for Figure 3 and text for explanation of symbols.


(Table 4). They are irregular and unpredictable in
Northern Hemisphere (Kellogg 1929). Apparently they wi
but little information is available for movements sout
(1977) reported a whale of this species that stranded
achusetts, on 21 July 1974; the animal was towed back
subsequently washed ashore dead near Currituck light, C
on 5 April 1975. The December record of this species
have come from a southward migration of this popul

their movements in the
nter south of Cape Cod,
h of New England. Mead
alive at Eastham, Nass-
to sea, released, and
orolla, North Carolina,
from South Carolina may
tion during the winter

Status and Abundance

Stocks in the northwest Atlantic are presently not being fished, and,
according to Mitchell (1973), they are above the level giving maximum sustain-
able yield. For the Newfoundland/Labrador stock, Mitchell and Chapman (1975)
estimate a minimum population of 965 harvestable animals based on shipboard
censuses. The same authors estimate a minimum of 870 for the Nova Scotia
stock from shipboard censuses and offer an estimate of 1,393-2,248 on the
basis of tag-recapture data. No population estimates are available from the
study area. These whales are considered endangered by U.S. authorities (U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service 1973).

Life History

No data are available on life history parameters from the study area. In
the eastern North Atlantic, sexual maturity in females is reached at 13.6 m as
compared to 13 m for males (Jonsgaard and Darling 1975). The mean age at sex-
ual maturity is 7.5 years for males and 8.4 years for females in southern
oceans. Lockyear (1974) suggests a 3-year breeding cycle. Jonsgaard and
Darling (1975) suggest that calving could occur every other year. Gestation
lasts 1 year, and, according to Matthews (1938), calves are born during Febru-
ary and 1parch and measure 4.8 m at birth. Gaskin (1976) reports that peak
pairing is from November to February with lactation lasting 6 months after

In the North Atlantic, sei whales feed primarily or
finmarchius and Thysanoessa inermis), although they also t
preferred food (possibly due to an absence of copepods),
small schooling fish (Matthews 1938).

1 copepods
ake euphaus
as well as

Sei whales usually travel in groups of two to five individuals,
they may concentrate in larger numbers on their feeding grounds (Leat
et al. 1976). They usually do not dive very deeply, and the head
emerges at a steep angle except when the whales are chased.

Records of Occurrence

Quad 1 North Carolina: Corolla, 360 26'N, 750 50'W (94, 95,


Quad 5 South Carolina: Cape Island, 330 C4'N, 79 20'W (95, 206).

Quad 20 Mississippi: Gulfport Harbour, 300 19'N, 89 18'W (70 incorrectly
as B. physalus, 71, 90, 95).

ids as a


Quad 28 Louisiana: near mouth Fort Bayou, 290 22'N, o8921'! (C9, 95, 113
incorrectly as B. acutorostrata, 164 incorrectly as P. acutorostrata).

Mexico: Campeche, 19S

5C'N, 900 32'W (90, 95, 100).


Balaenoptera physalus Linnaeus 1758

Other Common Names Finback whale, common rorqual, finbacks.

Other Scientific Names None.

Description and Identification

Fin whales may reach a length of 79 ft
longer than males of the sane age. From blue
likely to be confused, fins differ in: (1)
rostrum, but with the same sort of single dist
dorsal fin that is longer (up to 24 inches, 6
more than one-third forward fror the tail;
dark gray to brownish-gray on the back and
present on the blue whales; (4) having a gra
the back just behind the head, which may be v
breathe; and (5) having a yellowish-white col
including the mouth cavitv, and the richt f



Fin whales are cosmopolitan and occur in all
North Atlantic they occur from Greenland south to
Caribbean (Leatherwood et al. 1976). Two subspecies
er Northern Hemisphere form, P. p. physalus, and a
form, B. p. uoyi (Rice 1977).

(24 m), and females are slightly
whales, with which they are most
having a narrower, more V-shaped
inactivee head ridge; (2) having a
51 cr, tall) and located slightly
(3) having a coloration that is
sides with none of the mottling
yish-white chevron evident along
visible as the animals surface to
oration to the right lower lip,
ront baleen (Leatherwood et al.

oceans. In the western
the Gulf of Mexico and the
are recognized: a small-
larger Southern Hemisphere

Fin whales have stranded along the coasts of North Carolina and Florida
in the Atlantic portion of the study area and along Florida, Texas, and Loui-
siana in the Gulf (Figure 6). Siohtines at sea have been recorded in the
northern Gulf between 2C0 and 3Co latitude and 860 and 8E8 longitude. Of par-
ticular importance are records in the Gulf of Mexico during February, April,
June, July, September, and November (Table 4), which show their presence in
the Gulf throughout the year and suggest a somewhat isolated population like
that in the Gulf of California (Caldwell and Caldwell 1973).

Seasonal Movements

In the western North Atlantic,
of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, north to
concentrated between shore and the
et al. 1976). Their movements are

fin whales summer from below the latitude
the Arctic Circle, where they are usually
1,CCC-fathom (1,30-r) curve (Leatherwood
generally offshore and southward in the

Quad 79

W W 2

Figure C. Distribution of the fin whale, Balaenoptera physalus.
for Ficure 3 and text for explanation of syrhols.

See legend

winter, and northward and inshore in the summer. Their winter range reaches
at least to the coast of Florida and to the Greater Antilles. Northward mi-
grations probably begin in midspring. Records in the Atlantic portion of the
study area are from November and January through May (Table 4).

There may be two or possibly three separate stocks of fin whales in the
western North Atlantic (Leatherwood et al. 1976). One is a more northern
cold-adapted stock; the other, a more southern stock. Mitchell (1975) sug-
gests that these populations are stratified so that areas inhabited by a
southern population in the summer are occupied by a northern population in
the winter. A third stock may consist of an isolated population in the north-
ern Gulf of Mexico, but confirmation will require additional data.

Status and Abundance

These whales are not numerous in the western North Atlantic. They are
considered endangered by U.S. authorities (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1973) and listed as vulnerable in the Red Data Book (IUCN 1972). They are
still widely hunted and not protected by international agreement. Mitchell's
(1975) estimate for the finback population between Cape Cod and 570N is a mean
of 7,200 animals, with a maximum of 11,984 (derived fror tag-recapture data)
and a minimum of 3,162 (derived from shipboard strip census). No population
estimates are available for the study area.

Life History

No data are available on life history parameters from the study area.
Fin whales nate and calve from November to March. Females probably bear a
calf every third year after a gestation period of 11 to 12 months (Gaskin
1976). Lactation lasts 7 months (Gaskin 1976). Canadian fin whales are sex-
ually mature at 17.6 to 18.3 m (females) and 16.9 to 17.5 m (males). Life
span could be over 50 years (Winn et al. 1979).

Fin whales in the North Atlantic feed mostly on pelaoic crustaceans,
capelin, and herring. Euphausids are the main food, and both Thysanoessa
inermis and Meganyctiphanes norvegica are important food species (Pilson and
Goldstein 1973). Fish are eaten more exclusively in the winter months (Gaskin
1976). Fin whales come close to shore in pursuit of fish which nay account
for their frequent strandings. Their appearance in New England appears to
coincide with times when herring are plentiful. Large feeding frenzies, com-
prising 30 to 50 animals, are often seen during the spring, summer and fall
in areas of high productivity along the New England coast (Prescott et al.

Records of Occurrence

Quad 2 North Carolina: Carteret Co., Cape Lookout Bight, Wreck
T41, 206); Drum Inlet (41); Cape Lookout (14, 18, 41, 206).


Quad 3 North Carolina: Nags Head (14); S Nags Head, 7 mi N Oregon Inlet
T206); Rodanthe (173); 8 mi S Oregon Inlet (173); Cape Hatteras (41, 93,

Quad 12 Florida: Volusia Co., Ormond Beach,

Quad 16 Florida: Sebastian Island, 27050'N, 88029'W (169).

Quad 21 Florida: off Destin, 30000'N, 86015'W (36, 174).

Quad 22 Florida: Wakulla Co., Shell Point (36, 174).

Quad 25 Texas: 22 mi E Galveston (12, 67, 90).

Quad 27 Louisiana:

Terrebonne Parish,

Isles Dernieres (89, 90).

Off coast
sh, Venice

of Mississippi
(89, 90, 191);

and SE Louisiana (89, 90);
Plaquemines Parish, Pelican

Island (89,

Quad 29 29018'N, 87036'W (90, 175); 29007', 87054'W (175).

Quad 48 Florida: Florida Bay,
Key, 24041'N, 810 07'U (171).


Key (116); Monroe Co., near Boot


Balaenoptera edeni Anderson

Other Common Names -


Other Scientific Names None.

Description and


Bryde's whales reach

7 a maximum length

of approximately 46

ft (14 m).

They closely resemble sei whales in external appearance, but can be positively
identified by the presence of three ridges along the head anterior to the
blowhole. In addition to the medial ridge characteristic of all balaenop-
terids, Bryde's whales have two secondary ridges on the top of the head, one
along each side even with the blowhole running forward towards the tip of the
snout. These whales have a moderate dorsal fin (up to 18 inches, 45.7 cm)

which is often ragged on the trailing edge and located
forward from the tail. They are dark gray in color.

more than



Their distribution is poorly documented primarily because they are
difficult to identify at sea. They appear to be limited to the tropical
and warm temperature waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans
between 40N and 400S and within areas where water temperature exceeds
20'C. They are seldom found in higher latitudes except near warm-water

ons (Nishiwaki 1972).

Quad 28

29017'N, 81004'W (104).


in th

These whales have stranded on the coasts of Georgia and Florida in the
tic portion of the study area and along the Louisiana and Florida coasts
ie Gulf of Mexico (Figure 7). The number of strandings has increased in
t years, suggesting that a small, resident population may occur somewhere

in the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico.

Seasonal Movements

To date,
erwood et al.
early summer

no migration
1976). Reco
(Table 4).

and seasonal movements
rds in the study area a

have been described (Leath-
re from winter, spring, and

Status and Abundance



estimates are not available

are considered

stable and not end

for the study area.
angered (Caldwell and

Life History

No data are available on life history parameters from the study area.
Males attain sexual maturity at 12 m and females at 12.5 m (Nishiwaki 1972).

ales are one of the few ba

1976), usually on

, anchovies, and clupiid

There are also

ileen species which feeds in relatively warm
small schooling fish such as sardines,
fishes, together with some pelagic crusta-

reports of them eating sharks and herring

Bryde's whales dive deeper for their food than mos
(Caldwell and Caldwell 1974). Like minke whales, they

close to vessels


et al. 1976).

(Winn et al.

it other baleen
often approach

Records of Occurrence

Quad 8 Georgia: Chatham
Simons Island, 31017'
of Ft. George Island,
18 mi E Jacksonville,
borealis, 206).

Co., Orange Canal,
N, 81017'W (170);
30020' N, 81040'
30017'N, 81023'W

31055' N, 81014' W (170); NE St.
Florida: Jacksonville, NE shore
W (170); Duval Co., Pablo Beach,
(95, 99 as B. borealis, 104 as B.

Florida: Summer Haven,

Florida: Ft. Pierce, 27

29041' N, 81013' W (170).

028' N, 80020' W (168).

Quad 22 Florida:
90, 95, 127).

Walker Co., near Panacea, approximately

Quad 28 Louisiana: St. Bernard Parish,
(90, 95, 135, 191); Louisiana: P
Delta near Venice, 89'24', 29007' (9

Chandeleur Island,
laquenines Parish,
4, 95, 131, 135).

30002' N, 84022'W

29050' N, 88050'W
Mississippi River

Quad 31 Florida: Anclote Key, 28010' N, 8251'

W (94, 95, 206).

Quad 86 Cuba: Enscadda de Mora,
incorrectly as B. borealis).

E Cabo Cruz,

19051' N, 770441 W (95, 160




These w

Quad 12

Quad 16


_ ^*t .Er-M T T-E- -- .- .* o W ** ** *t .. .5 ,. L -

-7PPIWF ia

S ri Q"l- ,tA0 C*VM I C

_> ' M _* _n' i _n_ '_r-W id '"

Figure 7. Distribution of the Bryde's whale, Balaenoptera edeni. See legend
for Figure 3 and text for explanation of symbols.


Balaenoptera acutorostraca Lacepede 1804

Other Common Names Little piked whale, sharp-headed finner.

Other Scientific Names Agaphelus gibbosus.

Description and Identification

These are the smallest baleen whales in the Northern Hemisphere, reaching
maximum lengths of just over 30 ft (9.1 m). Other than their small size,
identifying features include (1) an extremely narrow, pointed (V-shaped), dis-
tinctively triangular rostrum with a single head ridge, similar to, but much
sharper than that of the fin whale; (2) a tall, falcate dorsal fin located
about one-third forward from the tail in about the same position as that of
the sei whale. Minke whales are black to dark grey on the back, and white on
the belly and the underside of the flippers.


Minke whales are distributed widely in all oceans. Three subspecies are
recognizable: B. a. acutorostrata in the North Atlantic; B. a. davidsoni in
the North Pacific; and B. a. bonaerensis in the Southern Hemisphere (Rice
1977). They are distributed in the polar, temperate, and tropical waters of
the western North Atlantic (Leatherwood et al. 1976) where they occur from the
pack ice south to the West Indies (18N) and the Gulf of Mexico. They appear
to be most abundant in temperate waters north of the latitude of New York and
infrequently are reported from tropical waters. Within the study area, docu-
mented records are from South Carolina, the Bahamas, southern Florida, the
eastern Gulf of Mexico, and Louisiana (Figure 8). In particular, there have
been a large number of strandings in the vicinity of the Florida Keys. In the
North Atlantic, minke whales seem to be limited mainly to continental shelf
areas, with variation in density in different areas depending on the distribu-
tion of prey species (Mitchell 1975).

Seasonal Movements

Seasonal movements are not well understood in these whales, but there
seems to be a general north-south and onshore-offshore trend between summer
and winter (Sergeant 1963). Supposedly they winter offshore and south of
Florida and the Lesser Antilles, and they summer north of Cape Cod where they
are common in the nearshore waters of the Gulf of Maine and the Bay of Fundy.
Sightings in the north are not common from November through March, but are
frequent during this time in the West Indies (Winn et al. 1979). All of the
study area records are in the winter (November through March) (Table 4) with
the exception of an individual stranded at Pyrtle Beach, South Carolina, on 30
August 1976 (SEAN 1976).

Status and Abundance

No population estimates are available for the western North Atlantic
or the Gulf of Mexico. According to Mitchell (1973), minkes in the north-
east sector of the North Atlantic appear to be at a reduced level.

K. S' SA 5? II 50 m


a.' r a? or w Sr ,r or 5,'
G.5 FO./'

Figure 8.
legend for

Figure 3 and

of the minke whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata.
text for explanation of symbols.

W W .^ Orf^^ ^ es' ste -It t of tT f at t

Life History

No data are available on life history parameters from the study area, but
Mitchell (1975) has summarized the following for minkes in the North Atlantic:
(1) pairing occurs from October to March and the gestation period is 10 to
10.5 months; (2) most females have one calf, and twins are rare; length at
birth is 2.4 to 2.8 m; and (3) the lactation period is estimated to be less
than 6 months.

Minke whales appear to be more

solitary than other species of baleen

whales though some large schools (in the low hundreds) have been observed.
There is some association of minke whales with other baleen whales such as fin
and blue. In eastern Newfoundland minkes feed primarily on capelin (Mallotus
villosus) from May to September. Also in their diets are cod, herring, salmon,
squid, shrimp, and possibly copepods (Sergeant 1963).

Minke whales often approach boats,

gear in the Cape Cod regi
result of an attraction

Records of Occurrence

to be susceptible to

niles seem


entanglement and dri

ion. It is unknown whet
to the concentrations

stationary ones.
owning in fixed

other this is accidental
of fish present (Mead

or the

Quad 5 South Carolina: Myrtle Beach, S Murrell's Inlet, 33042'N, 78053'W

Quad 18 Bahamas: Little Bahama Bank,

26006'N, 77053'W (141).

Quad 22 Florida: Wakulla Co., 30 mi E Spring Creek

(36, 104, 110).

Quad 26 Louisiana: Cameron Parish, Holly Beach (90, 191); Vermilion
5 mi W SW Pass (201); Vermilion, 0.5 mi W South West Pass (201).

Quad 31 Florida: Hernando Co.,

Near Bayport

1'08"W (17
Key (44);

N Long Key, 25051'N, 80
p1); 0.5 mi E Little Du
Bahia Honda Key, 24030'N,

)50'W (104); May
:k Key, 2441'N,
81017'W (110).

,o Key, 24044'N,
81014'W (110);


Megaptera novaeangliae

(Borowski 1781)

Other Common Names

- Humpbacked whale,


whale, humpbacks.

Other Scientific Names

- Megaptera longimana.


and Identification

Humpback whales reach a length of 53 ft (16.2 m). They are easily iden-
tified by their long (nearly a third as long as the body), nearly all-white

Quad 48



flippers that are knobby and irregular on the leading edge; the fleshy "knobs"
or protuberances randomly distributed on the top of the head and on the lower
jaw; and the small dorsal fin, located slightly more than two-thirds towards
the back, which frequently includes a step or hump. Humpback whales are black
with a white region of varying size on the belly; the flippers and the under-
sides of the flukes are also white.


These whales occur
are widely distributed
land, south to Venezuel
(Leatherwood et al. 1976

in all oceans. In the western North
from north of Iceland, Disko Bay and
a and around the tropical islands of

Atlantic, they
west of Green-
the West Indies

There are several records
study area, and all correlate
for this species (Figure 9).
is of an individual sighted 8
1965). Townsend (1935) noted
of Florida in January, and a
based on coordinates estimated
boat sometime during the day o
are a coastal species, a fact
tion by hunters. In the West
banks between the 10- to 100-

of humpbacks from the Atlantic portion of the
with the known time and route of migrations
The only recent record for the Gulf of Mexico
April 1962 at the mouth of Tampa Bay (Layne
humpback whaling just off the southwest tip
bout half the records shown in Figure 9 are
from a map showing the location of a whaling
f capture of one or more humpbacks. Humpbacks
accounting for their long history of exploita-
Indies, they are found almost exclusively on
fathom line (18.3 to 183 m) (Winn et al. 1975).

Seasonal Movements

Humpbacks migrate in distinct seasonal patterns. They spend spring,
summer, and early fall feeding from Cape Cod to Iceland. In late fall and
early winter they begin to migrate southward to the Caribbean for calving
and breeding. Their return northward migration begins in early spring
(Winn et al. 1975). Most records in the Atlantic portion of the study
area are from fall, winter, and early spring (Table 4). Humpbacks passing
through this region probably represent the stock breeding on Navidad, Silver,
and Monchoir Banks, at the end of the Bahamian archipelago (Winn et al. 1979).

Status and Abundance

Humpbacks are considered endanger
Wildlife Service 1973) and the Red Da
calculated the number in existence at
cumulative catch data from 1903 to 191E
the population had been decimated, and
few hundred animals remained by 1915.
is now estimated at 5,000 animals (Ga:

1,259 humpbacks
et al. (1975) e
at 785 to 1,157
area, and it is
viduals sighted
spring or south
uals by NMFS pe
Gulf of Mexico

in the western North Al
estimated the same popular

animals. No
doubtful that
are migratory
during late f
rsonnel on 11
raises the po

a resider
all or wi
July 1952
ssibil ity

ed by U.S. authority'

es (U.S.

Fish and

ta Book (IUCN 1972). Sergeant (1966)
the end of the 19th century, based on
, as at least 15,000 animals. By 1915
it is reasonable to infer that only a
The total population around the world
skin 1976). Mitchell (1973) estimated
tlantic on their feeding grounds. Winn
ition on its southern breeding grounds
n estimates are available for the study
nt population exists there. Most indi-
either heading north during the early
nter. The sighting of single individ-
and 5 June 1957 in the north-central
that a distinct breeding stock might

.r r -. ., .W W s e rO 0- Wr r



12r A5 A

m, i \ i.1

GLF OF M EXICO ...ur.. j-u

I // > r r a rr ii r '^ ^

Figure 9. Distribution of the humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae. See
legend for Figure 3 and text for explanation of symbols.

occur in the Gulf during the summer. Clark
whaling in the central Gulf in the 19th cent

(1887) showed commercial


Life History

No data are available on life history parameters from the study area.
Breeding and calving occur in Caribbean waters from January to March. Gesta-

tion lasts approximately 10 months, with lactation last
months. Since yearling-size animals are seen with adults
is possible that the young stay with the cow after weaning

In the western North Atlantic humpbacks feed only i
not while they are in the Caribbean (Winn et al. 1979)
Newfoundland indicate that they feed mainly on capelin,
choice (Gaskin 1976). Herring and cod are also eaten

ing from 10.5 to 11
in the Caribbean, it
(Winn et al. 1979).

northern waters and
Limited data from
ith krill as second
'Winn et al. 1979).


Humpbacks approach or follow trawlers rather commonly, presumably for escaping
fish or because the trawlers scare and school fish tightly, making them easier
to capture in cooperative hunting and feeding. This may also explain why they
approach stationary ships (Mitchell 1975). Humpbacks emit sounds in long,
predictable patterns ranging over frequencies audible to humans. The function

of the songs

is unknown.

Records of Occurrence

Quad 1 North Carolina: Corolla (94,
Kill Devil Hills, 36002'N, 75040'W

Quad 2 North Carolina: Shacklefor
Boque Banks, 34033'N, 76045'W (41:

Quad 3 North Carolina: Dare Co., S

Quad 5

South Carolina: Charleston


Duck, 36011'N, 75045'W (169);

d Banks, 34038'N, 76035'W (41, 104);

Avon, N Buxton (196).

Co., Cape Island, 16 km E McClelland-


Quad 8 Georgia: Sapelo Island (37); Georgia-Florida
81018'W (166).

state boundary,

Quad 12

Florida: Marineland

Quad 16 Florida: Palm Beach

Quad 17 27030'N,
(147); 26o00'N

(37, 174); Crescent Beach

Co., Delray Beach (85),


79030'W (147); 26030'N, 79030'W (147); 26030'N,
,79050'W (147); 26000'N, 79030'W (147); 26000'N,

Quad 29 29029'N, 87033'W (175); 29000'N,

Quad 39


87041'W (175).

Florida: off Egmont Key, mouth Tampa Bay (85);
coast between 2500'N and 27030'N (104, 147).

within 40 mi

of the

Quad 48 24020'N, 80030'W (147); 2400'N, 81010'W (147); 24000'N, 80030'W



quad 49 25030'N, 79030'W (147); 25020'N, 79030'W (147); 23000'N, 79040'W
(147); 25000'N, 7900'W (147); 24050'N, 79050'W (147); 24030'N, 79050'W

Quad 59 Cuba: 20 mi off Habana (1).

Quad 85 18028'N, 79001'W (175).

Not plotted Louisiana: Balize (53, 173); Cuban Waters (50); Antilles (50);
Bahamas (19, 85).

Family Physeteridae


Physeter catodon Linnaeus 1758

Other Common Names Cachalot.

Other Scientific Names Physeter macrocephalus.

Description and Identification

Male sperm whales may reach a length of 69 ft (20.9 m) although individ-
uals larger than 50 ft (15.2 m) are rare; females are much smaller, rarely
exceeding 38 ft (11.6 m). These large whales are easy to identify. They are
bluish-black except for occasional small areas of white on the lower jaw and
venter. The head is rectangular in profile and comprises from a fourth to a
third of the total length. The dorsal fin is replaced by a hump and a series
of longitudinal ridges on the posterior part of the back. The lower jaw is
small, narrow, and decidedly shorter than the snout. Pectoral flippers are
exceedingly small. The single blowhole is located well to the left of the
midline and far forward on the head; consequently, the small bushy blow
emerges forward at a sharp angle from the head and towards the left (Leather-
wood et al. 1976).


Sperm whales occur throughout the oceans of both Eastern and Western
Hemispheres, ranging from the Arctic to the Antarctic, but occurring mostly in
the temperate and tropical latitudes of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
(Lowery 1974). They occur along the edge of the continental shelf itself in
the western North Atlantic, but rarely on the shelf itself since they are
basically limited to deeper waters. They were apparently once numerous in the
Gulf of Mexico, enough to justify full-scale whaling operations. Townsend
(1935), summarizing 160 years of whaling, included many records from April
through July in the north central Gulf of Mexico and southeast to the lower
Florida Keys; he also included a few records from the central Gulf in March
(Figure 10). Whaling records are available for every month in the Atlantic
portion of the study area. Stranding records are known from Cape Hatteras to
Cape Canaveral along the Atlantic coast, from the west coast of Florida, and

W ~.~~.. v* a r...*' .~; _? Jr ,, -

Figure 10. Distribution of the spemr whale, Physeter catodon.
Figure 3 and text for explanation of symbols.

See legend for

F W- 0- WBOr-W
i -^^^^^^^^^^^^

also from the coasts of Louisiana, Texas, and Veracruz, Mexico (Figure 10).
Strandings or sightings are known for every month in the Gulf (Table 4). This
and other circumstances, particularly old whaling records, suggest there may
be a separate population in the Gulf of Mexico, although this remains to be
substantiated. Sperm whales were observed during the NFWL-BLM aerial surveys
in August in the Brownsville and Corpus Christi study areas along the Texas

Seasonal Movements

Seasonal distributions and migrations vary between males and females.
Along the Atlantic coast, harem and nursery schools (females, calves, juve-
niles, and young and old "harem master" bulls) move north from tropical and
subtropical winter grounds to breed in temperate waters around 400N latitude
(Townsend 1935). Consequently, sperm whales are fairly abundant near the con-
tinental shelf edge off the mid-Atlantic. Young bulls, sexually mature but
unable to maintain harems, and older bulls move farther north into polar
waters (Winn et al. 1979). Nothing is known of seasonal movements in the Gulf
of Mexico.

Status and Abundance

Sperm whales are considered endangered by U.S. authorities (U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service 1973). The number of observations and stranding records has
decreased in recent years, suggesting that populations have declined. Conse-
quently, Mead (1975a) considers sperm whales uncommon in the study area. Due
to their size and unique character, they are more likely to be recognized and
reported than most other whales, so stranding records may be biased in their
favor. Stranding and sighting records are most common in the Gulf of Mexico,
but available data are not complete enough to indicate any pattern. Many
recent records are of young animals. Mitchell (1973) estimates the population
in the entire North Atlantic to be around 22,000, but no specific estimates
are available for the study area.

Life History

Nothing is known of life history parameters from the study area. Sperm
whales are polygamous (Allen 1942). During the spring mating season, harems
are formed when bull "harem masters" join the predominantly female nursery
schools. Mating occurs in spring during migration north. Gestation lasts 14
to 16 months, with a 1- to 2- year lactation period, followed by a resting
period of 8 to 10 months (Winn et al. 1979).

The primary food of sperm whales is squid, supplemented by deepwater
species including octopus, sharks, cod, scorpaenids, snapper, barracuda, sar-
dines, ragfish, skates, albacore, angler fish, rattails, and bottom dwellers,
such as spring lobsters, crayfish, crabs, jellyfish, sponges, and tunicates
(Caldwell et al. 1966). Most food is taken in the open ocean and at great
depths (Pilson and Goldstein 1973), with some taken from the bottom sediments
by scraping the lower jaw along the bottom (Caldwell et al. 1966). Sperm
whales feed throughout the year, with no noticeable fasting period (Winn
et al. 1979).

Sperm whales may be found singly or in groups of up to 35 to 40 individ-
uals. Older males are usually solitary except during the breeding season.
During the remainder of the year large groups may include bachelor bulls (sex-
ually inactive males) or nursery schools containing females and juveniles of
both sexes (Leatherwood et al. 1976).

Sperm whales are among the longest and deepest divers of all cetaceans.
Dive-duration estimates of up to 90 minutes are recorded and depend on the
size of the individual. Depths have been reported as deep as 620 fathoms
(1,145 m).

Records of Occurrence

Quad 1 North Carolina: Currituck Inlet (173); Kitty Hawk, Bodie Island,
36004'N, 75034'W (169).

Quad 2 North Carolina: Carteret Co., Core Banks
Topsail Beach (196); Wrightsville (14, 41, 196).

Quad 3 North Carolina: Bodie
Hatteras National Seashore
(173); 35010' N, 75001' W
75o00' W (147); 34040' N,

Island, 35050' N,
(171); NE Cape Hat
(147); 3500' N,
7500' W (147);



eras (1
5027' W
4030' N

(196); Pender Co.,

(169, 206); Cape
49); Cape Hatteras
(147); 3500' N,
,75026' W (147).

Quad 4 South
80005' W
32018' N,

Carolina: Simmon's Island
(147); 32027' N, 80000' W
80039' W (147); Daws Island,

(Seabrook Island
(147); Hunting
Broad River (61,

Quad 5 South Carolina: Horry Co.,
206); 33000' N, 79020' W (147);
"Charleston ground" (156); 32040

N Myrtl
SN, 79

e Beach, 330
N, 79043' W
"47' W (147)

42' N, 7
; 32035

Quad 6 33021'N, 76012' W
T147); 32029' N, 7602
7600' W (147); 3208'

Quad 7 33030' N, 75
(147); 32028' N
75040' W (147);
32030' N, 7500'

000' W
, 750C
W (14

(147); 32053
17' W (147);
N, 76010' W

(147); 330
0' W (147);
0' N, 75032
7); 32025' N

' N, 77000' W
32026' N, /
(147); 3200'

0' N, 75001'W
32037' N, 7
' W (147); 3
, 75027' W (1

(147); 32449' N, 77030'
7028' W (147); 32022'
N, 76056' W (147).

(147); 3:
55028' W
2030' N,

2050' N, 75038'
(147); 3230' N
75026' W (147)

31043' N, 8100' W (147); 31027'

N, 80o28' W

Quad 9 31031' N,
78041' W (147);

Quad 10

31040' N,
SW (147);
' N, 77008'

Quad 11 31048' N,
75018' W (147);

78000' W
30053' N,

W (147).

75037' W
31040' N,

(147); 3100' N,
78030' W (147);

(147); 31035' N,
76030' W (147);


31046' N,
W (147);


W (147);
N, 78030'

3100' N,
W (147).

7600' W (147); 31017' N,
30051' N, 76000' W (147);

75013' W (147); 31042' N,
31040' N, 74058' W (147);

) (61);

32033' N,
(37, 47);


W (168,
coast at
79022' W

Quad 8


N, 75020'
31020' N,
W (147);
N, 75031'
30017' N,
W (147); 30

W (147); 31o29'
7500' W (147);
30040' N, 74058'
W (147); 30030'
75014' W (147);
000' N, 75030' W

N, 75011'
31017' N
W (147);
N, 75022'
30012' N

W (147); 31
,75027' W
30038' N,
W (147); 30
. 75022' W

Quad 12 Florida: Ponte Vedra Beach (37);
149); Charlotte Co., Englewood, 29054'
vard Co., Melbourne Beach (185).

Brevard Co., Cape Canaveral (104,
N, 81005' W (36, 104, 184); Bre-

Quad 13

Quad 14

Quad 15

29052' N,
' W (147);
' N, 79048'
; 28000' N,

29047' N,
' W (147);
' N, 77013'

29047' N,
' W (147);
' N, 75036'
; 28020' N,

W (14

W (147); 29046' N, 79027' W (147)
N, 78000' W (147); 29033' N, 790
7); 28022' N, 78028' W (147); 28'20'
W (147); 2800' N, 7800' W (147).

76033' W
29031' N
W (147);

, 7602

75040' W (147);
28057' N, 75039
W (147); 28018'
75000' W (147).

29047' N
7' W (147
N, 77030

29050' N,
' W (147);
N, 75037'

W (147);

W (147);

W (147);
N, 77034'
28000' N,

W (147);
N, 75015'
28015' N,

W (14

29018' N
W (147)
77033' 1

29030' N
W (147)

Quad 16 Florida: I
Jupiter Island,
26051' N, 80003'
Co., Delray Beach

ndian River Co., Vero Beach, 2739' N
90 mi N Miami (36, 139); Palm Beach
W (170); Palm Beach Co., Lake Worth
(85); Naples (26, 44).

80022' W (170);
Co., Juno Beach,
185); Palm Beach

Quad 17

27050' N,
' W (147);
SN, 78007'
; 27007' N,
SW (147);

Quad 18 27049' N,
77035' W (147);
26035' N, 77000'

7800' W
W (147)

W (147)


034' N

W (147); 27037'
N, 77000' W (14
; 26000' N, 76029'



W (147);
N, 78029'
27008' N,
W (147);
N, 78046'

W (147); 27023'
'N, 77022' W (14

Quad 25 Texas: 5 mi S Galveston (204).

Quad 26 Texas: Port Arthur, Sabine Pass

(90, 114, 130, 131).

Quad 27 Louisiana:
28058' N, 9100'

Bayou De Largo
W (147); 2800'

(169, 206); 290021
N, 91016' W (147).

N, 91029' W (147);

Quad 28 Louisiana: mouth of Thomasin Bayou, 29013' N, 89003'
2900' N, 88019' W (175); 20 to 25 mi off South Pass,
Mississippi River (90); 28024' N, 88029' W (175); 28023' N,
(147); 28014' N, 89018' W (147); 2800' N, 8800' W (147).


028' N,
019' N,

W (147

27033' N,
W (147);
77031' W
27005' N,
W (147).

W (90);
mouth of
88025' W

Quad 29 29021'N, 87000'
87049' W (175); 28055'
28000' N, 870031 W (147

, 875

2900' N,
1' W (175);
N, 86021' W


W (147); 28059' N,
N, 8732' W (147);

Quad 30 Florida: Franklin Co., Alligator Peninsula, 29054'
104); Gulf Co., 5 mi NW Port St. Joe (44).

Quad 31 Florida: near Cedar Key, 29008'

N, 84020' W (36,

N (168).

Quad 32 Texas: Padre Island National Seashore, 3 mi S wreck of the
qua, N Mansfield Channel (130, 131); Cameron Co., 17 mi N Port
Jetties (131); Texas: South Padre Island, near Brownsville (131).

Quad 33 Gulf of Mexico: Brownsville study area, 95007' N, 26057' W
Gulf of Mexico: Brownsville study area, 94046' N, 27027' W (208).



Quad 36 27034' N,
88023' W (147);

89027' W (147);
26028' N, 88032'

W (147).

N, 89007' W (147); 27'27' N,

Quad 37

Quad 38

27048' N, 86028'
W (147); 26050'
N, 87051' W (147)
26025' N, 87040'
W (147).

270021 N, 85000'
W (147); 26027'
SN, 85032' W (147).


27045' N, 8700
W (147); 26038
N, 87030' W (147
26019' N, 87022

(147); 26054' N,
86000' W (147);

W (147); 27027'
N, 86041' W (14
26028' N, 86042
W (147); 2600G'

85024' W (147); 26037' N,
28027' N, 85051' W (147);

Quad 39 Florida: Charlotte
84); Tampa Bay, 27032' N,

Quad 45 25037' N, 87026'W
87027' W (147); 25003'

Quad 46

Quad 47

25052' N,
W (147);
N, 8400'

24047' N,
' W (147, 1
' N, 82036'
; 2400' N,

W (147)

82000' W
75); 2401
W (147)
82037' W

Co., Englewood, 26056'
82044' W (94, 206).

(147); 25030' N, 85047'
N, 86026' W (147); 24048'

W (147);
N, 84040'
; 24026' N,

.1' N, 83
; 24000'

250361 N,
W (147);
84056' W

24044' N,
013' W (147
N, 83029'

N, 82022' N (36, 104,

(147); 25009' N,
4, 86038' W (147).

S (147); 25028' N,
1, 84047' W (147);

. (147); 2418' N,
N, 83050' W (175);
240001 N, 83000' W


); 24010'
W (147);

Quad 48 Florida: Collier Co., 12 mi
cayne Bay (94, 206); Everglades Na
entrance to Whitewater Bay (94, 1
Marathon Key, 24043'N, 81005' W
West, 24038' N, 81050' W (169);
81018' W (147); 24026' N, 80056'
24000' N, 81026' W (147); 2400' N,

Quad 52 22019' N, 96005' W (175).

off Marco Island (85); Sands
tional Park Vaters, Highland
16); Matecumbe Key (139); Mo
(36, 104, 206); Monroe Co.,
24033' N, 81047' W (147);
W (147); 24010' N, 81028'
81006' W (147).

Key, Bis-
Beach, N
nroe Co.,
near Key
24033' N,
W (147);

Quad 57 23044' N, 86005' W (147); 23034' N, 86000' W (147).

Quad 60 23050' N, 81047' W (147); 23049' N, 81010' W (147); 23007' N,
81025' W (147); Cuba: El Fraile, 23009' N, 81052' W (50).

Quad 62 23001' N, 770261 W (147); Cuba: Cayo Romano, 22001' N, 77039' W

Quad 64 Mexico: Veracruz, Tecolutla, 20015' N, 96047' W (95, 162 as Balae-
noptera borealis).

Quad 74 21041' N, 76028' W (175).

Quad 85 Jamaica: 4 mi off Negril Point (88).

Quad 86 Cuba: Jucaro, 19056' N, 77040' W (129, 161).

Not plotted Eastern Gulf to the mouth of Mississippi River (67); Florida
(149); Cuban waters (1, 50).


Kogia breviceps (Blainville 1838)

Other Common Names None.

Other Scientific Names None.

Description and Identification

Pygmy sperm whales reach a length from 9 to 12 ft (2.7 to 3.4 m) and a
weight from 700 to 900 lb (318 to 408 kg). They may be identified by (1) a
blunt, squarish head with a narrow, underslung lower jaw that terminates well
behind the tip of the snout; (2) an extremely robust body that rapidly tapers
near the tail; (3) a low dorsal fin that is positioned posterior to the center
of the back; (4) a crescent-shaped bracket mark, called a false gill, posi-
tioned between the eyes and flippers; and (5) flippers located well forward on
the body, just below and behind the bracket mark. These small whales are dark
gray on the back, changing to lighter gray on the sides, and gradually fading
to dull white on the belly.

Handley (1966) has demonstrated that two well-defined species, K.
breviceps and K. simus, are recognizable instead of only one, as previously
believed. Of the two, K. breviceps is decidedly larger; they also differ in
several other important features, outlined in the K. simus account.


Pygmy sperm whales presumably have a worldwide distribution in warmer
seas, but are thought to be relatively rare (Handley 1966). In the western

North Atlantic, they occur from as far north as Nova Scotia to as far south as
Cuba, and as far west as Texas in the Gulf of Mexico. They occur throughout
the study area, and these small whales frequently strand along the Atlantic
coast of Florida as well as throughout the eastern and northern Gulf of Mexico
(Figure 11). Observations at sea are rare, and it is believed that this is an
offshore species living in deep waters except perhaps during calving season
(Winn et al. 1979).

Seasonal Movements

There are 148 records o
is no apparent pattern to
records (Table 4). Records a
Carolina to Florida to Texas

and Alabama. According
accounts are most common,
ber (11), October (9), M
through the other months,
each. This distribution
problem is the presence o
species was not widely r
when these are eliminated,


f pygmy sperm whales in the st
them except for the superab
ire available for the entire st
except for the coasts of Lou
the Florida records alone,
ere are peaks in January (12 s
:h (7), and August (7), witt
except for July and November w
s not readily lend itself to i
records of K. simus in the old
gnized until 1966. A pattern

and more new records

;udy area, but there
undance of Florida
;udy area from North
iisiana, Mississippi
in which stranding
;trandings), Septem-
h scattered records
ith only one record
interpretation. One
literature, as this
may become evident

become available.

Status and Abundance

There are no population estimates from the study area. The most striking
aspect of the stranding records is their number, especially for an animal
usually considered a rare offshore species. This either is not the case in
the study area, or some unusual selective factor causes pygmy sperm whales to
beach. It is also possible that these small whales are a common element in
the inshore fauna of this area, but their habits prevent them from being seen
alive. Many strandings appear to be directly related to the birth process as
females with newborn calves often strand, as well as females whose ovaries and
uteri show evidence of having been involved in births just prior to stranding.

Life History

Very little data are available on life history parameters from the study
area. Mating may take place in late summer and the young are born in the
following spring after a gestation period of some 9 months (Allen 1941).
Strandings have been reported in the study area in which a pregnant female,
still lactating, has been accompanied by a yearling animal, indicating that
the single calf stays with the mother during its first year.

Pygmy sperm whales feed on squid, crab, and shrimp (Handley 1966), as
well as some fishes (Winn et al. 1979). In Texas, Raun et al. (1970) reported
squid (Ommastrephes sp.), two types of shrimp (Gnathophausia ingens and Aris-
taeomorpha foliacea), and a brown alga (Sargassum) in the stomach of a
stranded animal.


sperm 'whales
and seem to
(Handley 1966).

seem to occur in small schools
be rather timid (Mitchell 1975),

of three to


wro Ra,.o a

L R.4, I__C O


.. .. . .

Figure 11. Distribution of the pygmy sperm whale, Kogia breviceps.
for Figure 3 and text for explanation of symbols.

See legend

Records of Occurrence

Quad 1 North Carolina: Kitty Hawk (4,

14, 119, 150, 206).

Quad 2

' N, 7'


Quad 3 North Caroli
offshore (4, 14,
shore, 35'12' N,
National Seashore
(170, 206).

ina: Cape Lookout
W (170); Morehead


opposite Oregon
1 km N Hatteras
' W (169); 275
); Avon (173);

National Seashore, Core
City (176); Carteret Co.,

Banks S,

Inlet Life Saving Station, 200 yd
Inlet, Cape Hatteras National Sea-
to 365 m S of point, Cape Hatteras
Oracoke Island, 35010' N, 75078' W

Quad 4 South Carolina: Charleston Co., Seabrook's Beach (41, 61, 72); Parris
Point, Parris Island (171); Sea Pines, Hilton Head Island, 32010' N,
80040' W (171); Beaufort Co., Hilton Head Island (47, 94, 179); Long
Island Fill, near mouth Savannah River (4, 41, 61, 143, 157, 179).

uad 5 North Carolina: Brunswick, Ocean Isle Beach, 33054' N, 78024' W
(170); South Carolina: Myrtle Beach, 3342' N, 78053' W (168); Litch-
field Beach (94, 179); Georgetown Co., Pawley's Island (41, 61, 72, 179);
Georgetown Co., North Island, 33015' N, 79012' W (171, 179); Cape Romain
(94, 179); Capers Island, 32053' N, 79039' W (169, 179); Big Capers (94);
Charleston Co., Isle of Palms (47, 61, 72, 279); Charleston Co., Sulli-
van's Island, 32044' N, 79049' W (170); Charleston Co., Sullivan's Island
(47, 61, 72, 179); Charleston Co., Beach Inlet, between Sullivan's Island
and Isle of Palms (47); Charleston (93).

Quad 6 North Carolina: Southport, 33055'

N, 78000' W (168, 206).

Quad 8 Georgia: Tybee Islands (3
Ossabow Island (37, 47, 186); L
McIntosh Co., Blackbeard Island
93, 138, 206); McIntosh Co., S
Simons Island, 31008' N, 81024
Glynn Co., NE Little St. Simons
Co., Little St. Simons Island
Glynn Co., Jekyll Island (47, 2
81025' W (171); Camden Co., Cum
Camden Co., Cumberland Island, 3
berland Island, 30044' N, 81027
(37, 186); N Little Cumberland
Heaven, 30046' N, 81028' W (170
30040' N, 81026' W (170); Atl
Atlantic Beach (37); Jacksonvil
Co., Jacksonville Beach, 30011'

7, 94); Wassa
iberty Co.,
(47); McInt
apelo Island
SW (168, 20i
Island, 31
(172); Sea I
06); Glynn Ci
berland Islar
0056' N, 8102
' W (170); C
Island (47,
); Florida:
antic Beach,
le, 30018' N,
N, 31022' W

iw Island (94); Chatham Co.,
St. Catherines Island (176);
;osh Co., Sapelo Island (41,
, Nannygoat Beach (47); St.
6); St. Simons Island (37);
17' N, 81017' W (170); Glynn
island, near Brunswick (41);
o., Jekyll Island, 31003' N,
id, 30057' N, 81024' W (170);
4' W (170); Camden Co., Cum-
amden Co., Cumberland Island
186); Cumberland Island, Pig
Nassau Co., American Beach,
30019' N, 81024' W (169);
, 81024' W (169, 206); Duval

Quad 12 Florida: near Ponte Vedra Beach (37);
tine Inlet, Usina Beach, 29054' N, 81019'
Augustine Beach, 29052' N, 81016' W (90,
Augustine Inlet (85); St. Johns Co., Conch
between St. Augustine and Matanzas Inlet (1
Johns Co., St. Augustine Beach, 29051' N, 8

W (1

Johns Co., N St. Augus-
70); St. Johns Co., St.
St. Johns Co., S. St.
d (172); St. Johns Co.,
St. Augustine (94); St.
W (171); St. Johns Co.,

2 mi S St. Augustine Beach (85)
206); Matanzas Inlet, 29043' N,

SW (170); Flagler Co., a
; Flagler Co., near Marinel
' W (169); Flagler Beach (9-
Ormond Beach 29017' N, 810(
' N, 81000' W (170); Dayto
S29001' N, 80056' W (171);
Sebastian Inlet, 28057'
SN, 80036' W (170); Merrit

km S

(85, 187).

ritt Island, Patrick
Harbour Beach, 28009'
(169); Melbourne Beach

Quad 16 Florida: Brevard
170); Brevard Co., 3.
5.6 km S Sebastian In
27049' N, 80028' W (
80021' W (171); Indian
(94); St. Lucie Co.,
80015' W (169, 171); Pa
(85); Jupiter Island,
Island, 27003' N, 800
(168); Palm Beach Co.,
Palm Beach Co., Jupite
Palm Beach Inlet, 2604
(85); Palm Beach Co.,
Co., Hallandale Beach

; Crescent Beach, 2948' N, 81030' W (85,
81025' W (104); Summer Haven, 29041' N,
45 mi S Marineland, 29036' N, 81005' W
and (4, 85, 91); Flager Beach, 29029' N,
4); Volusia Co., 3 mi N Ormand Beach (57,
03' W (168); Volusia Co., Daytona Beach,
na Beach (94); Volusia Co., New Smyrna
Volusia Co., New Smyrna Beach (185); 1.5
N, 80026' W (170); Playa Linda Beach,
:t Island, 28030' N, 8030' W (169); Mer-
Base, 28013' N, 80037' W (170); Indian
W (169); Melbourne, 28004' N, 80038' W

Co., 13 km N
5 km S Sebastia
ilet, 27050' N,
168); Indian
River Co., Ve

lm Beach
6' W (1


in Inlet,

4 (f17n\

7055' N, 80032' 1
,80026' W (172)
bastc+ian T n1 +

River Co., Vero Beach, 27039' N,
ro Beach (94); Hutchinson's Island
Island, Jenson Beach, 27014' N,

Co., Jupiter
N, 80004' W
71); Jupiter

piter Inlet, 26055'
Inlet, 26055'N, 80
N, 80002' W (170);

l ray


Beach, 26027'

Island, 1 mi N Jupiter Inlet
(170); Martin Co., Jupiter
Island, 26075' N, 80008' W
N, 80006' W (4, 104, 206);
05'W (171); Palm Beach Co.,
Palm Beach Co., Palm Beach
N, 80003' W (171); Broward

Quad 21 Florida: Okaloosa Co.,

Ft. Walton Beach

Quad 24 Texas: Calhoun Co., Port O'Connor, 1 mi S Boogey Bayou (131).

Quad 25 Texas: Chambers
veston, Crystal Beach
city limits Galveston

Quad 30 Florida:
Franklin Co.,

Co., High Island
(131); Galveston

Franklin Co., St. George
St. George Island (185).

(131); Chambers C
Island, 29017' N,

Island, 2936' N,

o., 13 mi E Gal-
94048' W (169);

84050' W (185);

Quad 31 Florida: Dixie Co., Horseshoe
Dixie Co., Horseshoe Beach (185).

Beach, 29027' N, 83017' W (168);

uad 32 Texas: Nueces Co.,
(72); Port Aransas (204);
S south jetty Port Aran
Christi, Gulf Beach of P

Seashore, N
130, 131).


1 mi S Aransas Pass jetties,
Padre Island, 27037' N, 9712' W
sas, Mustang Island (90, 124);
adre Island (44, 72, 90); Padre

Pass (93, 94, originally


Mustang Island
(169); 15.8 mi
20 mi S Corpus
Island National
as K. simus by

Quad 39 Florida: Pinellas Co., St. Petersburg Beach, 27045' N,
90, 104); Hillsboro Inlet (94); Manatee Co., Holmes Beach (36).

Air Force
N, 80035'

(36, 48).

82050' W


Quad 48 Florida: S Miami Beach (94); Dade Co., Key Biscayne S of Miami
Beach (85); Marathon, Vaca Key, 24043' N, 81005' W (168); Marathon, Vaca
Key, 24042' N, 81050' W (170); Isla Morada, near Key West, 24033' N,
81048' W (168); Stock Island (94).

Quad 74 Cuba: Bahia de Nuevas, 21025' N, 7700' W (1).

Not plotted South Carolina: no specific locality (41, 176); Florida:
Vilano Beach (37).


Kogia simus (Owen 1866)

Other Common Names None.

Other Scientific Names None.

Description and Identification

Dwarf sperm whales are similar in appearance to pygmy sperm whales (K.
breviceps). Differences between the two are as follows (characters of K.
breviceps are listed first): total length from snout to notch in flukes, 9 to
11 ft (2.7 to 3.4 m) versus 7 to 9 ft (2.1 to 2.7 m); weight 700 to 900 lb
(318 to 408 kg) versus 300 to 600 lb (136 to 272 kg); dorsal fin, low and
posterior to center of back versus high and near center of back; condylobasal
length, 391 to 469 mm versus 262 to 302 mm; mandibular teeth, 12 to 16 (rarely
10 or 11) pairs versus 8 to 11 (rarely 13) pairs; mandibular symphysis, long
(86 to 120 mm) and ventrally keeled versus short (37 to 46 mm) and without
ventral keel (Handley 1966). The bracket-shaped mark on each side of the
head, between the eyes and the flippers, is apparently present in both spe-
cies. Similarly, the color pattern of the two species is indistinguishable.


Dwarf sperm whales are known from the seas adjacent to South Africa,
India, Ceylon, Japan, Hawaii, South Australia, and eastern United States
(Handley 1966). In the western North Atlantic, they have been positively re-
ported from Virginia south to St. Vincent in the Lesser Antilles, and in the
Gulf of Mexico (Leatherwood et al. 1976). Their range completely overlaps
with that of K. breviceps. No specific data are available, but supposedly
they primarily inhabit deep water. Stranding records are known from several
widely scattered places throughout the study area (Figure 12), but dwarf sperm
whales have been recorded more frequently from the Atlantic coast than from
the Gulf coast. Their records are not as numerous as those of K. breviceps,
but since this species only recently has been clearly delineated from K. bre-
viceps (see Handley 1966), some of the old records of K. breviceps are likeTy
to be K. simus.


LAW u r w .. rSr S( r -

Sr SB SB SV...iW........

SBi a, s. S S I S' 7. r

Figure 12. Distribution of the dwarf sperm whale,
for Figure 3 and text for explanation of symbols.

Kocia simus.

See legend

Seasonal Movements

No informati
area, dwarf sperm
September (Table


is available on seasonal movements.

Within the study

whales have been recorded from every month except August and
4), but records are too few for any pattern to be apparent.

Status and Abundance

No population estimates are available from the study area; consequently,
it is impossible to determine their status. K. simus appears to be substan-
tially less common than K. breviceps and restricted to more southern waters.
According to Caldwell and Caldwell (1974), populations are stable and not

Life History

No data are available
little is known from other
related to females giving

on life hist
birth close

ory parameters
regions. Some
to shore (Win

sperm whales feed primarily on squid, but eat some
well (Caldwell and Caldwell 1974).

Records of Occurrence

Quad 1 North Carolina:
14, 119, 150, 206).

from the

study area,

strandings appear to be
in et al. 1979). Dwarf
crustaceans and fish as

Corolla, 36025' N, 75050' W (206); Kitty Hawk (4,

Quad 2 North Cat
Beach, 34002'

olina: Ocean Ridge,
N, 77056' W (170).

1.5 mi W Atlantic Beach

(41); Carolina

Quad 3 Nags Head, 35058' N,
Co., Oregon Inlet (14,
350221 N, 75030' W (170,

75038' W (169, 206); Pea Island (94, 206); Dare
41 incorrectly as K. breviceps, 187); Avon,
206); Cape Hatteras (173).

Quad 4 South Carolina,

Hilton Head

Island (206).

Quad 5 South Carolina: Debedieu Beach of Arcadia Plantation

Quad 6 North Carolina:

Quad 8 Georgia: Wa
baw Island Beach
(170); Camden C
Co., Cumberland
berland Island
(170); Florida:

(41, 61, 157,

Fort Fisher (94, 206).

ssaw Isl
o., Cumt
(186); C

and, 31051' N, 80057' W (206); Chatham Co., Ossa-
Camden Co., Cumberland Island, 30053' N, 81024' W
berland Island, 30050' N, 81026' W (168); Camden
30050' N, 82026' W (168, 206); Camden Co., Cum-
;amden Co., Cumberland Island, 30046' N, 81028' W

Fernandina Beach

(37); near Atlantic Beach (37).

12 Florida: approximately 1 km S St. Augustine Beach,
81016' W (170); Vilano Beach (37); St. Augustine (37); 29005' N,
(166); 28055' N, 80043' W (166); Cocoa Beach, 28020' N, 80043'
Melbourne, 28004' N, 80038' W (168).


290501 N,
80055' W
W (171);


Quad 16 Florida: near Jupiter Island, 26057' N, 80008' W (168); Ft. Lauder-
dale (94).

Quad 20 Mississippi: beach at Biloxi (71, 94).

Quad 21 Florida: Okaloosa Co., 3 mi E Destin (44 incorrectly as K. brevi-
ceps; 90).

Quad 25 Texas: Galveston Island (44 incorrectly as K. breviceps; 124);
Galveston, 29017' N, 94048' W (170, 206).

Quad 32 Texas: Padre Island (134); Padre Island National Seashore, 27035' N,
970151 W (170).

Quad 39 Florida: Pinellas Co., St. Petersburg Beach, 27045' N, 82040' W

Family Ziphiidae


Mesoplodon densirostris (Blainville 1817)

Other Common Names Dense-beaked whale.

Other Scientific Names None.

Description and Identification

Blainville's beaked whale may reach a length of at least 17 ft (5.2 m).
Their most distinctive characteristic is the head, marked by a prominent rise
located near the angle of the gape on each side. In adult males this rise
bears the teeth and gives a peculiar high, arching contour to the mouth (Lea-
therwood et al. 1976). This rise is not prominent in females or immature
males, and detailed study of a skull is usually required to identify these
individuals. These whales are black or charcoal gray on the back and slightly
lighter on the abdomen. They are somewhat blotched with grayish-white and are
often extensively scratched or scarred (Leatherwood et al. 1976).

Three species of beaked whales of this genus (M. mirus, M. europaeus, and
M. densirostris) occur in the study area. All are known strictly from stranded
specimens and have not been encountered at sea; thus, information on appear-
ance of the species in the wild is almost totally lacking. All of the species
have five features in common: (1) two small v-shaped creases on the throat;
(2) the absence of a conspicuous notch on the rear margin of the tail flukes;
(3) the absence of functional teeth in all except adult males; (4) black to
dark gray coloration; and (5) a dorsal fin situated well past mid-body. Adult
males have a functional pair of teeth in the lower jaw, the position of which
can be used for species identification. In M. mirus, the teeth are located

near the tip of the lower jaw; in M. europaeus, about a third of the way from
the tip of the snout to the corner of the mouth; and in M. densirostris, in
large prominences near the back of the mouth (Leatherwood et al. 1976). Pos-
itive identification of females or immature males usually requires museum
preparation and examination.


Mesoplodon d
temperate waters
seems normally to

(Rice 1977)
occur both

. This
north ai

in all
is the
nd south

oceans having tropical and warm
only species of Mesoplodon which
of the equator. Nishiwaki (1972)

suggests that they are limited by 450 latitude in either hemisphere. They
have stranded along the American coast from Florida to Nova Scotia, and there
is a single record for the Gulf of Mexico. According to Moore (1966), their
distribution is farther offshore than any other species of Mesoplodon found in
the North Atlantic. There have been seven strandings from the Atlantic por-
tion of the study area (Figure 13); these are from North Carolina (three
records), South Carolina (one), Georgia (one), and Florida (two). The single
individual from the Gulf of Mexico stranded at Jack Stout Bayou, Terrebonne
Parish, Louisiana on 5 January 1974. Gunter (1955) reported a specimen from
Padre Island, Texas, but Moore (1966) subsequently has shown this to be
Mesoplodon europaeus. A stranding also occurred in the Bahama Islands on 17
October 1944.

Seasonal Movements

No information is available on
are from January, March, June, and
meager to indicate a pattern. The
the sexes.

movements. Within
October (Table 4),
strandings also are

the study area,
but these data
divided evenly

Status and Abundance

There are no population size estimates for
information suggests these whales are uncommon
extremely rare in the Gulf of Mexico.

the study area, but available
along the Atlantic coast and

Life History

No data ar
e is known

e available on life h
from other geography
animal revealed that

history parameters from the study area, and
ic regions. Analysis of stomach contents
these whales feed on squid (Leatherwood

Records of Occurrence

Quad 2 North Carolina: Bogue Banks, near Beaufort (41, 104, 158, 206).

Quad 3 North Carolina: Buxton (44, 206);

Cape Hatteras

(93, 94,


Quad 5 South Carolina: near Charleston (41, 61, 108, 179).

Quad 8 Georgia: Cumberland Island, 30050' N, 81027' W (170).

are too

of a
et al

- dl S 5 *a Pt ., 0 W W' r t a a- a *, at w Sr ; s





SI Sri

Figure 13. Distribution of Blainville's beaked whale, tesoplodon densirostris.
See legend for Figure 3 and text for explanation of symbols.


Quad 12 Florida: near Crescent Beach, 2952' N, 81010' W (34,

Quad 18

Bahamas: Green Turtle Cay Bay, Abaco, 26046' N, 77018' W

Quad 27 Louisiana: Terrebonne Parish, Jack Stout Bayou,
91o00' W (173, 191).

Not plotted Florida

SW Houma, 29010' N,



Mesoplodon europaeus (Gervais 1855)

Other Common Names Gulfstream beaked whale, Gervais' beaked whale.

Other Scientific Names Mesoplodon gervasi, M. gervaii.

Description and Identification

Antillean beaked whales reach a length of at least 22 ft (6.7 m). Their
slender form (much taller than wide) gives them the appearance of being later-
ally compressed. Their head is extremely small and tapers rapidly to a narrow
beak. The small flippers are positioned well down on the sides of the body.
These whales are dark grayish-black on the back and sides and slightly lighter
on the abdomen. Adult males can be distinguished from other species of Meso-
plodon as described in the account of M. densirostris; females and immature
males are easily confused with the other beaked whales though Antillean beaked
whales are larger than all except goosebeaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris).


These beak

ings arn
only fi

and t
al (the
Ig to Moc
e known
ve reco

ed whales occur in the western North Atlantic from Trinidad,
he Gulf of Mexico to Long Island, New York (Rice 1977); one
holotype) has been reported from the English Channel, but,
ore (1966), it was probably a stray. In the study area, strand-
from several places along the Atlantic coast. These include
lings from North Carolina and Florida and a single one from
14). They are known from the Gulf of Mexico on the basis of
rds, three of which are from the Texas coast and two from
(1966) suggests that they inhabit deep waters close to shore-

Seasonal Movements

known, any o
whereas they
(Table 4).

is known about seasonal movements in the study area or, so far as
their region. Strandings in the Gulf are from winter and summer,
have been recorded during all seasons along the Atlantic coast
There are many more strandings of females than males, and many

(79, 106,

1 I ^* ,, I. If r. 6r Ek 4I &O It I 77'

A a,% A *

Figure 14. Distribution of the Antillean beaked whale, rMesoplodon europaeus.
See legend for Figure 3 and text for explanation of symbols.

appear to be directly related t
and females with newborn calves

o the birth process as several

have washed


pregnant females

Status and Abundance

No population estimates are available from the study area,
d whales are assumed to be rare throughout their range (Lowery
166 only 14 records were known, and 11 of these were from the

but these
1974). As
study area.

Recent years have witnessed a proliferation of strandings so that presently
there are 29 recorded, suggesting that the whales are not as rare as pre-
viously suspected.

Life History

Virtually nothing is known about life history parameters from the study
area. Females with calves have stranded in the study area in Miay and June. A

pregnant female
August. These

with a near-term fetus
whales are known to feed

Records of Occurrence

Quad 1 North Carolina:

Quad 2 North
Cut, 3403

Kitty Hawk,


Carolina: Bogue Banks,
' N, 77054' W (169, 206).

North Carolina: Dare
s, 108, 196); N Oregon
2' W (170, 206); Buxton

stranded along the T
on squid (Leatherwood

Cape Hattei

34042' N,

Co., Oregon Inlet,
Inlet (173, 206)
(45, 206).

exas coast in
et al. 1976).

ras (108, 206).

77002' W (168, 206); Snow's

N Cape Hatteras (17 as M.
; Cape Hatteras, 35014' N,

Quad 8 Georgia: Chatham
Fernandina Beach (37).

Co., Ossabaw Island, Middle Beach (168); Florida:

Quad 12 Florida: St. Johns Co., St. Augustine Beach, 29055' N, 81017' W
(37, 104, 108, 121, 159); Volusia Co., New Smyrna Beach, 28059' N,
80052' W (170); 3 mi S Melbourne Beach (104, 107, 111, 176); E Hutchin-
son's Island near Melbourne, 28005' N, 800371 W (168); S Cape Canaveral,
28005' N, 80027' W (166).

quad 16 Florida:
27040' N, 8022'

8 mi N Vero Beach (107, 108,
W (170); Ft. Pierce, 27028' N,

206); 3 km N Vero
80020' W (168).

Quad 22 Florida: Panama City, St. Andrews Bay

Quad 24 Texas: Matagorda Island,

Texas: Nueces Co.


(67 and 68

Quad 39 Florida: Boca Grande

125, 158,

Monroe Co., Key
176); Key Largo,

Gulf Beach


, 27035' N, 97013' W (203); Padre Island,
incorrectly as M. densirostris, 106, 176).

40 mi S

(36, 107, 108, 176).

Largo, 2515' N, 80020' W
25011' N, 80021' W (168).

of 19

Quad 3
mi ru

Quad 32



Quad 48

(104, 111, 121,

Quad 59 Cuba: Cayo Alacranes, Pinar del Rio (1, 108, 122).

Quad 85 Jamaica: Bull Bay, St. Thomas Parish (120, 121, 122, 177, 207).

Quad 86 Jamaica: Montego Bay (28).

Quad 88 Jamaica: Morant Cays (88).


Mesoplodon mirus True 1913

Other Common Names None.

Other Scientific Names Mesoplodon mirum.

Description and Identification

True's beaked whales may reach a length of 16 ft (4.9 m). They resemble
goosebeaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) in having a chunky mid-body rapidly
narrowing toward the tail. Their head is small with a slight indentation near
the blowhole, a slight bulge to the forehead, and a pronounced beak. The
flippers are small, as is the slightly falcate dorsal fin, located in the lat-
ter third of the back. Coloration is dull black to dark gray on the back,
lighter slate gray on the sides, and white on the belly. The body often is
covered with light spots or splotches and numerous pairs of scratch marks.


These beaked whales occur in the North Atlantic from Florida and Nova
Scotia east to the British Isles (Rice 1977). They tend to maintain this loca-
tion despite the sweep of the Gulf Stream, possibly in part by keeping between
it and the American coast (Moore 1966). There are six recorded strandings in
the Atlantic portion of the study area, three from North Carolina, two from
South Carolina, and one from Florida (Figure 15). There are no records from
the Gulf of Mexico.

Seasonal Movements

Strandings have occurred in March (three strandings), July (one), and
August (one) (Table 4). These data are too meager for a pattern to emerge.

Status and Abundance

There are no population estimates available for the study area, and it is
impossible to accurately assess their status. Based on stranding records,
True's beaked whales appear to be rare in the Atlantic portion of the study
area and absent in the Gulf of Mexico. As with most species of Mesoplodon, it
is hypothesized that they have a pelagic range far offshore, possibly account-
ing for their infrequent stranding.

Figure 15. Distribution of True's beaked whale, r'esoplodon nirus.
for Figure 3 and text for explanation of symbols.

See legend

Life History

Very little

they feed

on cep

data are available on life his
halopods as well as a variety

tory parameters. Si
of fishes (Mitchel

1 1975).

Records of Occurrence

Quad 2 North Carolina:
125, 155, 158, 206).

Beaufort Harbor, Bird Island Shoal (17,

41, 76, 108,

Quad 3 North Carolina: Oregon Inlet (18); Dare Co., Buxton,
Shoal Beach (14, 17, 107, 108, 111, 196).

New Inlet, Gulf

Quad 5 South Carolina:

Isle of Palns (94,

179); Charleston

Quad 12 Florida: Flagler Beach, 29028' N, 81007' W (107,

108, 111, 176).


Ziphius cavirostris G. Cuvier 1823

Other Common Names

- Cuvier's beaked whale.

Other Scientific Names Hyperodon semijunctus.

Description and Identification

Goosebeaked whal
length. The head is
larger individuals.
whales. The dorsal f
located approximately
the midpoint between
quently observed colo
the remainder of the
blotches of slightly


white head and
These cetace
Ziphiidae mair

es usually measure from

in is

cleft of
thirds the

to the body
the mouth i
y tall and
distance b

18 to 26 ft (5.5 to 8.5 m)
, and the beak is indistinct
s smaller than in other bea
distinct, smoothly falcate,
between the tip of the snout

the tail flukes. Coloration is varia
r schemes are (1) face and upper back,
body black; or (2) entire body, grayi
darker gray below (Walker 1975). Old
frequently are extensively scarred (I
ans are distinguished from other bea
Ily by features of the skull. Males h

able, but two f
cream-colored w
sh fawn with sm
males have a d
Leatherwood et
ked whales in
ave two function


one at the tip of each mandible, that usually are not visible in



Z. cavirostris
tropics to sub
Atlantic they
to Florida an
area, they ha

is a truly cosmopolitan species, with records extending
polar waters in all oceans (Rice 1977). In the western
have been reported from FMassachusetts and Rhode Island
d thence to the islands of the West Indies. Within the
ve been recorded from Cape Hatteras south to the Florida

(14, 41).


Keys on the Atlantic coast and from the western coast of the Florida penin-
sula, Louisiana, and Texas in the Gulf of Mexico (Figure 16).

Seasonal Movements

Goosebeaked whales are pelagic, open-ocean forms that undertake long
migrations, especially in polar regions (Farcuzzi and Pilleri 1971). Seasonal
patterns cannot be discerned in the study area because of insufficient data.
Strandings have occurred in every month in the Atlantic states, but only in
the fall and spring in the Gulf of Mexico (Table 4). The records present no
apparent pattern, and may represent strays from a wide-ranging population
(Mead 1975a).

Status and Abundance

Goosebeaked whales are the most
study area. There are numerous strand
the western coast of the Florida penins
Gulf are of strandings from the coasts
they may be rarer there than in other
no population estimates available from

commonly stranded beaked whales in
ing reports from the Atlantic coast
ula. The only records from the wes
of Louisiana and Texas, suggesting
portions of the study area. There
the study area.

Life History

with a fetus
feed primarily

ly nothi
on squid

ng is known about life
near Cape Canaveral, Fo
(Caldwell and Caldwell

rida, in

parameters. A
August. These

Records of Occurrence

Quad 1 North Carolina: Currituck Co., 5 mi S Corolla (206).

Quad 2 North Carolina: Morehead City (176); S
34012' N, 77048' W (170).

end Wrightsville

Quad 4 South Carolina: Edisto Island (61, 37, 179).


SCarolina: Myrtle Beach, 33042' N,
179); Charleston Harbor, 32050' N,
14, 206); Sullivan's Island, 32040'

N, 79

W (168)
W (154,
052' 1W

; Cape Island
49, 158, 61,
(41, 37, 61,

Quad 6 North Carolina: New Hanover Co., near Ft. Fisher (82).

Quad 8 Georgia:
N tip south
Camden Co.,
Island (185)

Chatham Co., Wassaw Island (47,
Beach McQueen (176); St. Simon
North Beach, Little Cumberland I
; Florida: Fernandina Beach (37).


54, 41,

ne Island,
37, 206);

Quad 12 Florida:
Augustine Beac
Co., N Daytona
Cape Canaveral

h (85)

Beach, near St. Ai
; St. Johns Co.,
(75, 202); Ormand

N Anasti

(167); St. Johns
asia Island (85);
29015' N, 80057'


Quad 5 S


Co., St.
W (170);

*Figure 16. Distribution of the goosebeaked whale, Ziphius cavirostris. See
legend for Figure 3 and text for explanation of symbols.


Quad 16 Florida: Martin Co., Hobe Sound Beach (85); Palm Beach Co., Palm
Beach, 26033' N, 80002' W (171).
Quad 21 Florida: Pensacola, Santa Rosa Island (173, 185); Okaloosa Co.,
near Fort Walton (48, 90).
Quad 25 Texas: Galveston Co., Galveston's West Beach (90, 130).

Quad 28 Louisiana: 5 mi S North end Chandeleur Island (70, 90, 191).

Quad 31 Florida: Pasco Co., near Hudson (104, 206).

Quad 39 Florida: Venice, 27009' N, 82027' W (104).
Quad 48 Florida: Hallandale (206); Dade Co., Miami Beach, 25052' N, 80008' W
(170); Monroe Co., Conch Key, 24047' N, 80053' W (104, 206).
Quad 50 Bahamas: 10 mi N Norman's Cay (32); Norman's Cay, 24038' N, 76048' W

Quad 60 Cuba: Bahia de Matanzas (1, 160).

Quad 63 Bahamas: Staniel Cay, 40 mi SE Norman's Cay (32).

Quad 71 Cuba: Carapachibey, 21027' N, 82056' W (160).

Quad 84 Grand Cayman Island (173).

Not plotted Yucatan, Mexico (173).

Family Delphinidae


Peponocephala electra (Gray 1846)

Other Common Names Melon-headed whale, many-toothed blackfish.

Other Scientific Names None.

Description and Identification

Many-toothed dolphin are at least 9 ft (2.7 m) in length. They resemble
false killer whales and pygmy killer whales in shape and general appearance.
Their body is elongated and slim with a narrow tail stock. They have no beak
and a rounded forehead that curves smoothly from the anterior tip of the
rostrum to the blowhole and overhangs the lower jaw. The dorsal fin is up to
10 inches (25.4 cm) tall and distinctive. Peponocephala are a uniform black

on the back and slightly lighter on the belly, and have a vertical pectoral
blaze mark (Walker 1975).


Peponocephala are distributed in the tropical Atlantic, Indian, and Paci-
fic Oceans (Rice 1977). They have not been recorded from the western North
Atlantic or the study area, but are included herein because of their known
tropical distribution in the Lesser Antilles. The likelihood of their occur-
ring in the study area is high.

Seasonal Movements

Since they have not been recorded in the study area, no information is

Status and Abundance

Many-toothed dolphins are presumably rare throughout their range.

Life History

Virtually nothing has been reported on their habits. A large number of
pregnant females were collected in Australia in August 1958 (Dawbin et al.
1970). Stomach contents of a stranded animal in the Lesser Angilles included
partially digested fish and squid, cephalopod beaks, fish otoliths, and fish
bones (Caldwell et al. 1976).

Records of Occurrence None.


Feresa attenuata Gray 1875

Other Common Names Slender blackfish.

Other Scientific Names None.

Description and Identification

Pygmy killer whales are relatively slender-bodied animals that reach a
length of about 8 to 9 ft (2.4 to 2.7 m). Their head is blunt and evenly
rounded, without a beak, and the snout overhangs the tip of the lower jaw.
The falcate dorsal fin, in the center of the back, is tall (between 8 to 12
inches, 20.3 to 30.1 cm) and usually distinctive. The flippers are slightly
rounded on the tips. Body coloration is dark gray, almost black, except for
margins of white about the lips and a white area in the anal region. A pale
gray or whitish area lies between the flippers.


F. attenuata occurs in the tropical and warm temperate waters of the
Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans (Rice 1977). In the western North Atlan-
tic they are known from tropical and subtropical waters in southeastern and
northwestern Florida, extreme south Texas, and the West Indies (Figure 17).
They have not been recorded from the Atlantic portion of the study area
between Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and Cape Canaveral, Florida. Their dis-
tribution suggests they are an offshore species restricted to warmer waters
(Winn et al. 1979).

Seasonal Movements

Records in the study area are from winter, spring, and summer (Table 4),
but these data are too meager for a pattern to emerge.

Status and Abundance

No population estimates are available from the study area. The sparse
records are probably a reasonable indication that they are rare in the study
area. All six are from the southern area (Texas, Florida), which is consis-
tent with the apparent tropical distribution of these whales in other oceans.
Populations are believed to be stable and not endangered though data are very
limited (Caldwell and Caldwell 1974).

Life History

No data are available on life history parameters from the study area. A
young juvenile, possible newborn, was 82.2 cm in length when captured in May
1967, off Costa Rica (Mitchell 1975). In captivity these whales are known to
eat sardines, squid, sauries, and mackeral (Nishiwaki 1966). They have been
reported to attack other species of dolphins (Mitchell 1975).

Records of Occurrence

Quad 16 Florida: Hutchinson's Island (94); Jupiter Island, 26057' N,
80008' W (170); Palm Beach Co., Singer Island, near Riviera Beach (38,
206); Lake Worth, 26037' N, 80o02' W (94, 165, 206).

Quad 30 Florida: St. George Island, 29040' N, 84050' W (168, 173, 185).

Quad 32 Texas: Cameron Co., Isla Blanca Park, Brazos Santiago Pass,
2604' N, 97009' W (80, 90, 131).


Pseudorca crassidens (Owen 1846)

Other Common Names None.


1-I-* I ... 1 .


w Ir w or r or r g w g or o r 10org a, Ir _7ra* g

Figure 17. Distribution of the pyagmy killer whale, Feresa attenuata. See
legend for Figure 3 and text for explanation of symbols.

Other Scientific Names None.

Description and Identification

Male false killer whales reach a length of 19.7 ft (6 m); females are
slightly smaller, reaching 15.6 ft (4.75 m). These whales are easily recog-
nized by a combination of salient features: (1) the body is long, slender and
uniformly black except for varying amounts of white at the lips, chin, and
belly; (2) the head is narrow and gently tapered from the area of the blowhole
forward with no evidence of a beak such as that possessed by many delphinids,
and lacks the bulbous swelling possessed by species of Globicephala; (3) the
dorsal fin is from 7 to 16 inches (17.8 to 40.6 cm) tall, falcate, and located
about midway of the body length; and (4) the flippers have a broad hump on the
front margin near the middle.


False killer whales have been recorded from all the main bodies of water
with the exception of polar seas (Rice 1977). Stranding records and inci-
dental sightings suggest that they are widely distributed in the tropical,
subtropical, and warm temperate waters of the western North Atlantic. Several
strandings have been recorded from the Atlantic portion of the study area, but
there are only seven records from the Gulf of Mexico, suggesting they are
uncommon there (Figure 18). Apparently, Pseudorca is a pelagic form not
occurring frequently in coastal waters, sandy bays, or estuaries, though
entire herds have stranded in such areas (Leatherwood et al. 1976). Records
from throughout their range suggests that they have an oceanic distribution.

Seasonal Movements

No population estimates are available from the study area, but the number
of strandings and sightings suggests that false killer whales are more common
in the study area than pygmy killer whales (Feresa attenuata) or killer whales
(Orcinus orca). Pseudorca may be more common as a stranded animal than sus-
pected since it commonly is mistaken for Globicephala, and some of the G.
macrorhynchus records may actually be Pseudorca (Mead 1975a). Populations are
believed to be stable and not endangered (Caldwell and Caldwell 1974).

Life History

No data are available for life history parameters in the study area.
False killer whales are thought to travel in groups of several hundred indi-
viduals, containing both sexes of different ages, and to feed on cephalopods
and fish (Walker 1975). They are notorious for stealing large fishes from the
lines of snapper and grouper fishermen (Brown et al. 1966). Their breeding
apparently is not confined to a definite season. Young are between 1.7 to
2.0 m long at birth (Walker 1975). This is one of the cetaceans that commonly
mass strands. The largest mass stranding in the study area occurred on 11 Jan-
uary 1970 when 150 to 175 false killer whales stranded at three places-along
the southeast Florida coast (Caldwell et al. 1970).

Records of Occurrence

Quad 1 North Carolina: NE Hatteras, 36002' N, 74006' W (21).

Figure 18. Distribution of the false killer whale, Pseudorca crassidens.
See legend for Figure 3 and text for explanation of symbols.

Quad 3 North Carolina: 0.5 mi E Hatteras Inlet

Quad 5 South Carolina:


near Charleston

(41, 61, 179).

Quad 8 Georgia: Chatham Co.,

Tybee Island (41).

Quad 12 Florida: 5 mi N Ponce de

Leon Inlet near Daytona

Beach (37, 42).

Quad 16

Florida: 15 mi N Vero Beach; Ft. Pierce
); 3 mi off Jupiter lighthouse, 26057' N
Isboro lighthouse near Deerfield (16, 67,


Quad 21 Florida: 50 mi offshore between Pensacola

near Ft. Pierce (42,
104); Broward Co.,
Pompano Beach (42).

and Panama City (20).

Quad 34 Texas: Galveston,

Quad 36 150 nautical

vicinity Flower Garden Bank,

mi S of Mississippi

120 mi SSE Galveston

River (22, 90).

Quad 39 Florida: offshore, general region of St. Petersburg
Captiva Island, 26031' N, 82011' W (168).

(20); Lee Co.,

Quad 47 Florida: Loggerhead Key

(168); 16 km E Dry Tortugas

Quad 48 Florida: Dade Co., Bear Cut,
Beach, Amberjack Hole, offshore (22)
80020' W (42, 98, 104, 206); Cape Sab

25044' N, 8003' W (
; Dade Co., Biscayne
le, 25008' N, 800071

22, 104); Miami
Bay, 25035' N,
W (168).

Quad 59 Cuba: Cojimar, 23"10' N, 82018' W (1, 22, 50).

Quad 62 Cuba: 25005' n, 77'80' W (21).

Not plotted

Cuban waters


Orcinus orca

(Linnaeus 1758)

Other Common Names

Other Scientific Names

- Grampus orca.

Description and


Adult male killer whales have a robust shape and may reach a length of at
least 30 ft (9.1 m); females are considerably smaller and less stocky. Their
most distinctive field character is the high (6 ft or 1.8 m tall in males;
3 ft or 0.9 m in females), erect, distinctly falcate, and pointed dorsal fin.



- None.


killer whales are distinguished by their


bluntly rounded snout,

the oval white patch just above and behind the eye, and the contrast of the
black upper parts with the white under parts.


Killer whales are pelagic animals that occur in all oceans from the Arc-
tic to the Antarctic and even ascend large rivers (Marcuzzi and Pilleri 1971).
They are most common in the cooler coastal seas around the world (Rice 1977).
In the western North Atlantic, they occur from the polar pack ice south to
Florida, the Lesser Antilles, and into the Gulf of Mexico (Leatherwood et al.
1976). Strandings are relatively uncommon along the Atlantic coast portion of
the study area, and the bulk of the records are from the Florida area near the
Gulf Stream (Figure 19). There are a few records from the southeastern part
of the Gulf of Mexico, in the vicinity of the Keys and off the southern tip of
the peninsula. Evidence of their occurrence in the northern and western parts
of the Gulf is limited to one specimen (Caldwell et al. 1956), an unverified
stranding (Schmidly and Shane 1978), and an unverified sighting (Gunter 1954).
Killer whales seem to prefer coastal areas, and they may enter large shallow
bays, estuaries, and river mouths in search of food though such inshore behav-
ior has not been reported from the study area.

Seasonal Movements

No data are available
that migrations occur in ass
species. According to these
waters in warmer months and
apparent consistency in the
ter months though there are
(Table 4).

from the study area. Winn et al. (1979)
ociation with the abundance and movement
authors, killer whales are found in more
in the Caribbean most often in summer.
study area records is that most are from
isolated records from May, June, and S

Status and Abundance

No estimate
the study area.
and in the Cari
to Winn et al.
evidence that

Life History

es of population abundance are availa
Killer whales appear to be modestly
bbean, and relatively rare in between
(1979), the West Indian population is
the species is endangered anywhere

ble from any portion of
common north of Cape Cod
(Mead 1975a). According
stable and there is no
in the western North

No data are available for life history parameters i
Males are polygamous and mating may occur throughout the
1979). The gestation period is about 1 year, and the young
2 m long (Walker 1975). Killer whales feed on squid, fi
seabirds and other marine mammals (Caldwell and Caldwell 1
in groups of from a few to 25 or 30 individuals though herd
reported (Leatherwood et al. 1976). Females and young
groups from young bachelors and bulls.

n th
at b
Is of

e study area.
(Winn et al.
irth are about
sea turtles,
They travel
150 have been
form separate

Records of Occurrence

Quad 1 North Carolina: Waterlily (173,

206); Killdevil (94).

of prey
The only
the win-

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