Our Latest News

New picnic facilities for Penny's Lagoon

08/08/2018

The Parks and Wildlife Service has completed the construction of a new picnic shelter at Penny's Lagoon within the Lavinia State Reserve on King Island.
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Celebrating World Ranger Day

31/07/2018

The work of Tasmania's rangers is vital in the daily management of our 19 national parks and more than 800 reserves, encompassing approximately 50 per cent of the State.
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Southwest ecological burns important for orange-bellied parrot conservation

22/03/2018

Planned ecological burns in Southwest National Park will help regenerate important habitat areas for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot.More

Strap-toothed Beaked Whale

Strap-toothed Beaked Whale(Drawing by Graham Sanders) 
The Strap-toothed Beaked Whale is rarely seen, as this is an open-ocean species. It can be identified by its small melon shaped head which has a grey band behind and joins with a light grey band on the dorsal surface. Smaller than Cuviers Beaked Whales, Strap-toothed Beaked Whales reach about 6 m in length and weigh up to 2 ton. Males have a pair of long, strap-shaped teeth (tusks) in the lower jaw that prevent them fully opening their mouths as they curl backward and inward. They are known to bask on calm, sunny days and sink slowly below the surface. They do not generally show their flukes on diving, which lasts at least 10 minutes. They are generally black/grey in colour, some with a brownish tinge and white underside. They have a white throat-patch which extends behind the eye and blends with a lighter grey on the dorsal surface. In other characteristics they are similar to other beaked whales with a slender body and long dolphin-like beak, triangular tail fluke and small sickle-shaped dorsal fin.

General Information

Distribution map of sightings and strandings (click to enlarge)
They are generally solitary but can be found in groups of up to three. They reach sexually maturity at around 5 years and can live up to 40 years. They are an open-ocean species that hunt mainly squid.

Stranding Information

The Strap-toothed Beaked Whale is Australia’s most common beaked whale to strand with over 70 recorded events. In most cases they are found singly stranded and dead but in a few cases there have been more than one animal involved. South Australia and Tasmania have the most incidents with around 30 standing events each.