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Kogia breviceps (Cetacea: Kogiidae)

Brian E. Bloodworth, Daniel K. Odell
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1644/819.1 1-12 First published online: 3 June 2008


Kogia breviceps (de Blainville, 1838) is a cetacean commonly called the pygmy sperm whale. A diminutive relative of the sperm whale and difficult to identify in the field, it is 1 of only 2 members of the genus Kogia. It is endemic to offshore waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans in temperate and tropical regions. It is considered solitary and deep-diving in pursuit of cephalopod prey. Abundance is poorly known, although it is protected under U.S. federal and international law. No specimens have ever been maintained permanently in captivity, and, temporary holding of stranded individuals has rarely been nonlethal.

Key words
  • asymmetrical skull
  • cetacean
  • marine mammal
  • Odontoceti
  • pygmy sperm whale
  • whale biology