Cephalopods represented by beaks in the stomach of a sperm whale stranded at Paekakariki, north island, New Zealand

  • MR Clarke
  • CFE Roper


More than 3 000 cephalopod beaks taken from the stomach of a sperm whale stranded at Paekakariki, North Island, New Zealand, were identified to species and measured; estimates were made of the masses and standard lengths of the cephalopods represented. In all, 24 species of cephalopod in 13 families were represented. The most important species were Histioteuthis atlantica (contributing 78.56% of the number and 41.0% of the wet mass
estimated from lower rostral lengths), Moroteuthis ingens (11.06% and 15.26%), Taonius pavo (3.69% and 2.32%), Taningia danae (1.50% and 8.56%), Moroteuthis robsoni (1.25% and 5.35%), Architeuthis sp. (0.12% and 23.74%) and Kondakovia longimana (0.31% and 1.28%). Other species each contributed less than 1%. A total of 10 lower beaks was from three Antarctic species and show that the whale had been in the Antarctic but probably had been in the New Zealand region for several days, at least, before stranding. The mean wet mass of individuals represented was 432 g, and they varied from 170 to 2 631 mm in standard length.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1814-2338
print ISSN: 1814-232X