Marine biologists at Monterey Bay Whale Watch in California were stunned to come across the pod of 24 Baird's beaked whales

Marine biologists at Monterey Bay Whale Watch in California were stunned to come across the pod of 24 Baird's beaked whales
Marine biologists at Monterey Bay Whale Watch in California could not believe their luck when they stumbled across the pod of 24 Baird's beaked whales - two of which were young calves.

Despite the marine mammals being the largest of all beaked whale species, they glide through the water in perfect unison.

They usually dive to more than 3,300 feet and can hold their breath for an hour, so drone pilot Jason Berring was stunned to spot the creatures on the surface on May 29.

Mr Berring's crystal-clear footage shows the diving patterns of the whales, as they tend to disappear for around 25 minutes before returning to the surface for around eight minutes.

One of the adults even breached the surface, with the top half of its body emerging from the water for the stunned onlookers.


Mr Berring said: 'Beaked whales are still relatively unstudied due to their exceptionally long dive times, so being able to reveal a tiny portion of their secret lives was fascinating.

'Most people have never seen such an odd-looking whale before, thus a lot of people have been astonished by the aerial footage.

'The moment was extremely surreal.

'During the four short minutes I was able to fly amongst them, I knew they had never been captured this well.'

He added: 'I surely felt the pressure and was relieved to look down at my monitor to see a red light flashing at me, indicating I remembered to hit record!'

Nancy Black, the founder of Monterey Bay Whale Watch who has been working in the area for 30 years, added to ABC News 7: 'This is the largest group of beaked whales I have seen over the last 30 years, and I have only seen this species of whale about ten times in my life.'

Baird's beaked whales average around 36 feet in length.

They are named after American naturalist Spencer Baird, but are also known as bottlenose whales due to their bulbous forehead and beak.

Female whales live for 50 years on average, whereas males can survive for up to 84 years.

The large mammals live between Alaska and California in the North Pacific Ocean, eating fish found in the darker depths of the oceans such as mackerel, Pacific saury, octopus, crustaceans and sea cucumbers.