Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Research Article

XXV.—On the Occurrence of Ziphius cavirostris in the Shetland Seas, and a Comparison of its Skull with that of Sowerby's Whale (Mesoplodon Sowerbyi)

Professor Turner

The illustrious Cuvier, in his treatise “ Sur les Ossemens fossiles,” described and figured an imperfect skull which had been obtained, in 1804, by M. Raymond Gorsse in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône, near Fos, on the southern coast of France. It had been found on the sea-shore in the preceding year by a peasant. Cuvier recognised it to belong to an undescribed genus of cetaceans, to which he gave the name of Ziphius; and from the deep hollow which it possessed at the base of the rostrum, he named it Ziphius cavirostris. From the condition of the bones, and the general characters of the specimen, he judged it to be a fossil. Cuvier's description, though brief, and from a mutilated specimen, yet clearly states the most salient features of the skull.