Sperm whales – information

Sperm whale is the largest of toothed whales. Adult males reach 20 meters long and weigh 50 tons. Divers on its background look like small spots. Sperm whale is difficult to confuse with other cetaceans. A huge head makes up about a third of the total body length in old males (sometimes even more, up to 35% of the length); In females it is somewhat smaller and thinner, but also takes about a quarter of the length. The long and narrow lower jaw is seated with large teeth, usually 20-26 pairs. It can open downward vertically, 90 degrees.

The sperm whale when exhaled gives a fountain, directed obliquely forward and up at an angle of about 45 degrees. The shape of the fountain is very characteristic and does not allow confusing it with the fountain of other whales, in which the fountain is vertical. The surfaced sperm whale is very often breathing, the fountain appears every 5-6 seconds.

Sperm whale is a giant among toothed whales, all other toothed whales are much inferior in size. Sperm whales grow all their lives, so the older the whale, the more they tend to be larger; While males are larger than females almost twice. The length of the males is 18-20 m, the larger specimens are very rare. The weight of adult males is on average about 40 tons, but often large sperm whales weigh more, even up to 70 tons. In the past, when sperm whales were more numerous, specimens were occasionally encountered, the weight of which was approaching 100 tons.

Big brain and good heart. The sperm whale’s brain is the largest in the entire animal world (absolutely, but not in relation to body size), it weighs up to 7.8 kg. The size of the heart of the average sperm whale is a meter in height and width.

He’s vociferous. The voice signals of the sperm whale are generally close to the signals of other whales. These are three types of sounds – groaning sounds, clicks and fast crackling, similar to the sound of a mechanical typewriter, and creak. Sperm whales, stranded, loudly roar.

Some sperm whale sounds can reach literally fantastic volume – up to 236 decibels per micropascal per meter, which gives an absolute loudness of about 116 decibels (this is comparable to the noise of a large airliner engines that reaches 160 decibels). Thus, the voice of the sperm whale is one of, if not the loudest sound in the living nature.

He loves warmth. Sperm whale has one of the largest areas in the entire animal kingdom. It is distributed throughout the World Ocean, except for the northern and southern cold regions. At the same time whales keep mainly away from the coast, in areas where the depths exceed 200 m. In warm waters, sperm whales are more common than in cold waters. According to the expression of American specialists, “the headquarters of sperm whales are in the tropics”.