Re-identification of the supposed True's beaked whale Mesoplodon mirus from Scotland



In the first week of January 1931 a beaked whale (Family Ziphiidae) stranded at Gierinish, South Uist, Outer Hebrides, was identified as a True's beaked whale Mesoplodon mirus. This stranding is referred to frequently in the cetacean literature, either directly or indirectly. Re-examination of the skull of this specimen reveals characters unique to Cuvier's whale Ziphius cavirostris and not shown by any Mesoplodon. Therefore, there is no known stranding of True's beaked whale in Britain.