THE FIRST RECORD OF TRUE’S BEAKED WHALE, MESOPLODON MIRUS, FROM THE MEDITERRANEAN COAST OF TURKEY DURING MULTIPLE STRANDINGS IN JUNE 2016

Note: Corrigendum has been published for this paper Vol.22, No: 3. 

The first record of True’s beaked whale, Mesoplodon mirus, from the Mediterranean coast of Turkey during multiple strandings in June 2016

Ayaka Amaha Öztürk, Ayhan Dede, Arda M. Tonay, Erdem Danyer, Işıl Aytemiz Danyer, Elif Özgür Özbek, Didem Ercan, Bayram Öztürk

Faculty of Fisheries, Istanbul University, Ordu St., No: 200, 34470, Laleli, Istanbul, TURKEY
Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV), P.O. Box: 10, Beykoz, Istanbul, TURKEY
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Istanbul University, Avcilar, Istanbul, TURKEY
Antalya Metropolitan Municipality, Karaalioğlu Parkı içi, Antalya, TURKEY
Faculty of Fisheries, Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University, Kötekli, Muğla, TURKEY

Abstract

Three strandings of beaked whales (Ziphiidae) were observed and reported along the Mediterranean coast of Turkey in June 2016. The first specimen (male, body length: 526 cm) was live stranding in Gökova Gulf on 3 June. The second specimen (male, body length: 510 cm) found stranded on Seferihisar on the Aegean Sea coast on 5 June. The third specimen (male, body length: 472 cm) was found on Yakacık, Gazipaşa on 20 June. They all had two teeth exposed at the tip of the lower jaw. The mouth line and the slender shape of the body are distinct from the Cuvier’s beaked whale, Ziphius cavirostris, which is a common species in the Mediterranean. The preliminary identification of the species based on the external morphology is True’s beaked whale, Mesoplodon mirus True, 1913 which is the new record for the Mediterranean Sea, at least for the first two specimens. The genetic information, however, is strongly needed for the confirmation of this species identification. The reason for these strandings was not prominent but the military activities which took place in the eastern Mediterranean-Aegean region may have some relations.

Keywords: Beaked whale, Mesoplodon, Eastern Mediterranean