The northern bottlenose whale makes up one of two species of bottlenose whale.
The other species is known as the southern bottlenose whale.
These whales can be found swimming in cold waters in and around sub arctic climates.
Extensive hunting has led to large declines in terms of their overall population as over 85,000 whales were killed between 1850 and 1973.
Physical Characteristics and Appearance
These whales are known for having very bulky rotund bodies with a short beak, small flippers and small dorsal fin (the dorsal fin measure in at 1 – 1 1/2 ft.) which is located down the far side of its back.
At full maturity the northern bottlenose whale can measure in at over 30 ft. long.
Estimating their exact weight has been difficult to determine due to a lack of data, however it is estimated that these whales can weigh between 13,000 – 17,000 lbs.
In terms of color these whales have a gray to dark gray skin tone with a lighter colored underbody.
Diet and Hunting Methods
When hunting for food these whales have been known to hold their breath anywhere from 10 minutes all the way up to 1 hour.
While adults can be spotted making dives of up to 5,000 ft. when hunting for food younger whales tend to search for prey that is closer to the surface of the water.
Habitat & Social Structure
These whales prefer living in waters with cold climates in and around sub arctic waters that are over 6,000 ft. deep.
Groups of these whales have been spotted in the North Atlantic ocean, Barents Sea and Greenland Sea among other cold climate areas.
Rare spotting’s or stranding’s have also occurred in North Carolina (U.S.A), Canada and the Canary Islands.
While most whales tend to gather for short periods of time, there are some males that will create long-lasting social bonds with one another.
Groups may consists of both males and females and can vary greatly in terms of age range.
Little is known about their overall population size however it is estimated that there may be around 8,000 – 12,000 species in existence today.
As with other species of toothed whale these whales communicate using high-pitched sounds that vary from one whale to the next.
Breeding & Lifespan
The average estimated gestation period for these whales is around 12 months.
After birth the female whale will nurse her young by providing it with milk which she produces from her mammary glands.
Nursing may continue for 12 months or more before the child is able to fully hunt and survive on its own.
Sexually maturity is generally reached between the ages of 7 – 14, however males may continue to grow until their late teens.
After reaching sexual maturity these whales may begin to start breeding and bearing offspring of their own.
It is estimated that these whales have a life span of 35 – 40 years or more.