Marine Mammals

The Sperm Whale

the sperm whale
Written by mrhusev

The sperm whale, also more commonly known as the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) is the largest of all toothed cetaceans.

Classification: vertebrates, mammals, cetaceans, physeteridae
Height: up to 22 m long with tail
Weight: up to 55 tons
Habitat and distribution: cosmopolitan open sea
Conservation status: declining

With its 55 tons, enormous head, and impressive teeth, the Sperm whale is the most giant hunter of the seas. Instead of filtering out plankton like baleen whales, the Sperm Whale dives and hunts for Giant Squid, sometimes at a depth of more than 2000 meters above sea level.
It can easily hold its breath for two hours and hunt in total darkness, finding its prey by echolocation. Its head contains a waxy substance, spermaceti, which probably helps it record sound echoes and control its balance.
The Sperm whale lives in the depths of the ocean and stays away from shallow coastal waters. It is easily recognized by its single nostril, a breathing hole on the left side of its head. When it exhales, it emits an oblique cloud of vapor called a “spout”.

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