Which beaked whale is the only one with teeth in the upper jaw?


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There are 22 beaked whales species and 21 of them only have teeth in the lower jaw. The only exception is the Shepherd’s Beaked Whale, also called the Tasman Beaked Whale. The Shepherd’s beaked whale (Tasmacetus shepherdi) is the only one of the group with a fully-functional jaw, possessing 17-29 sets of teeth small, conical teeth.

The uniqueness of the Shepherd’s beaked whale isn’t limited to its teeth. The species has only been seen three times that were confirmed, the most recent being the first recording of the animal in 2012. Discovered in 1937 based on dead specimens that had been washed ashore, the Shepherd’s beaked whale (Tasmacetus shepherdi) has been one of the most mysterious cetaceans in history. Only two previous sighting have been confirmed: an individual near New Zealand and a group of three near Western Australia.