As testament to their elusive nature, three new species of beaked whales have been discovered in the past two decades alone, bringing the total number of known beaked whale species to 22. Sightings are rare, and much of what’s known about these creatures is derived from observations of decomposing bodies found on shore and breaching events.
Beaked whale behavior explains why we so rarely see these creatures. They tend to live far offshore in deep waters, spending 92 percent of their time underwater. Among whales, they are the masters of the deep, feeding at depths reaching 9,800 feet (3,000 meters) and staying underwater for as long as two hours.
These whales use their specialized beaks to suck up squid, fish, and crustaceans. Following a big dive, they return to the surface and perform short, shallow dives at brief intervals. Unlike some whales and dolphins, they’re not attracted to boats.