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Northern bottlenose whale – Hyperoodon ampullatus Forster
Whales (Cetacea) are a group encompassing approximately 80 species of extraordinarily large mammals adapted to life in water. Whales are considered to be extremely long-lived animals – some species live over 200 years. Whales are nowadays considered a very endangered group due to overhunting.
The World of Aquatic and Wetland Habitats exhibition features a specimen of the northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus) dating from 1893; it was found stranded on the shore of the island of Tinos in the Aegean sea (Greece). The bottlenose whale can grow to 10 metres in length and to a weight of seven tonnes. This species is distributed from Iceland to Greenland to Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic Ocean. It has also been registered in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, but it is rarely encountered in the Mediterranean. It is estimated that the entire population of the species numbers no more than 10,000 whales.