Why is it called A Sperm whale: The sperm whale is a huge marine mammal, with a giant head and a small, compared with the volume of the body, a brain that weighs five times as much as a human. What other features does this creature have?
Appearance of sperm whale
The sperm whale is the largest of the toothed whales, it can be as long as twenty meters, and weigh as much as 50 tons. If you compare sperm whales with the largest land mammal, it will be five times larger than the elephant. The sperm whale’s brain is the largest in the world, weighing up to eight kilograms.
The sperm whale’s head takes up a third of its body. In the spacious mouth is more than 50 teeth, each of which weighs up to a kilogram. Food does not chew sperm whales, and teeth are needed to make it easier to grab prey.
The head is necessary for the sperm whale not only for food, it contains a kind of spongy cushion well protected by fat and muscles. The sponge is saturated with waxy substance – spermaceti. In one head is not less than two thousand liters of this unusual liquid. The main purpose of this fluid is to give direction to sound waves.
We also recommend to read:
Sperm Whale Nutrition
Most of all sperm whales love squid, but can eat and fish, and sharks, and octopuses. With the help of echolocation whale finds out the location of the victim. Sperm whale can swim at a not too high speed – up to 30 kilometers per hour, but this is enough to catch up with the unlucky squid. To survive, a sperm whale needs to eat at least 500 cephalopods per day.
For sperm whales fit the waters of almost all oceans. Females and calves prefer warm tropical waters.
These whales can hold their breath for up to two hours. They can dive to a depth of three kilometers. However, this is the maximum depth recorded by scientists. It is assumed that sperm whales can dive deeper: in the stomach of one of them was found a shark that lives at a depth of at least four kilometers.
The mating season for sperm whales begins in mid-summer. Females become sexually mature at the age of 10-14 years; in males, this period begins much later – after reaching 18 years of age. Pregnancy in these whales can last as long as 16 months.
Herds of sperm whales are organized like a real harem. Up to forty females and their young can be around the lonely male. Sometimes males fight for the right to control the herd, and females help their pets.
Sperm whales – very sociable animals. For serious conversations, they use clicking sounds that are visible at a distance of several kilometers. The loudest sound made by a sperm whale can reach 230 decibels.
Previously it was believed that such loud sounds of sperm whales are used to stun the enemy, but this information was not confirmed. Researchers hope to someday decipher the code through which these creatures communicate.
- The mythical albino sperm whale was immortalized in the famous novel by G. Melville “Moby Dick”. The novel was based on the real life of whalers.
- A healthy sperm whale can live up to 70 years. They usually die from natural causes. Natural whales have no natural enemies, unless, of course, they are considered human.
- These animals are the only mammals that can dive so deep.
- Young sperm whales are not tied to a biological mother, they can get milk from any lactating female in their group. Females feed calves for at least two years.
- Sperm whales were taken under protection only in 1985, after centuries of extermination for the sake of hides and whale oil.
Despite the loss in the population due to years of whaling, there are quite a few sperm whales. However, the danger to sperm whales is the pollution of their natural habitat. If you do not control the pollution of the ocean, sperm whales will not be able to be saved: it is impossible to contain these animals in captivity.