Whale # 5 stomach content analysis

Steve O'Shea

TONMO Supporter
Staff member
Nov 19, 2002
This specimen, 'Whale # 5" is actually 'Whale # 5' [Department of Conservation #] of the pod that stranded on Karikari Beach, West Coast, Auckland on 16 November 2003 (one of the 13). [sampled on 18 Nov 2003]

These beaks have only just been identified, and like 'Whale's 1-4', as far as I know (to the best of my efforts), every squid beak in the stomach was retained (this time the number of lower beaks exceeds that of the uppers). The identifications must be treated as provisional, although I only expect (if any changes are to occur) 1 or 2 changes (again ?Discoteuthis concerns me - I do not believe that the single beak is correctly identified, and that it is probably a species of Psychroteuthis; I have many Psychroteuthis in collections here from Antarctic waters but have yet to extract beaks from any for comparison).

If you like you can look at the squid composition of this whale, compare it to that of the previous lot, and try and make some sense out of the jigsaw (again based on what we know of the New Zealand and adjacent water mass squid faunas). I've not provided lower rostral lengths for the beaks, as I've yet to measure them.

Identifications are based on lower beaks.

Here goes:
Whale # 5, male, length to come, stranded 16 November 2003, Karikari Beach (DOC Whale # 5) [sampled 18 November 2003]
Number of upper beaks: 169
Number of lower beaks: 163

Lower beak-determined squid composition in diet of Sperm Whale # 5
Architeuthis dux: 5
Pholidoteuthis boschmai: 11
Octopoteuthis sp.: 2
Taningia danae: 6
Moroteuthis ingens: 19
Moroteuthis robsoni: 16
Histioteuthis cf. eltaninae: 24
Histioteuthis miranda: 47
Teuthowenia sp.: 12
Megalocranchia sp.: 4
Cranchiid sp. 1: 7
?Discoteuthis sp.: 6
Chiroteuthis sp.: 1
Gonatus sp.: 2
Family indet.: 1

Again, much more could be said.

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