Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus)
|Researched by||Morvan Barnes||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||Physeter macrocephalus , Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandFound off the coasts of northern Scotland, in the north North Sea and off the western coasts of Ireland, although individuals have been washed up at various other locations around the coasts of Britain.
HabitatThe sperm whale is an oceanic deep-sea species that may dive down to a few kilometers in depth.
- Up to 18 m in length.
- Small dorsal hump two-thirds down the body followed by smaller humps.
- Large square head up to 30% of the body length.
- Narrow lower jaw with a white inside colouring to the mouth.
- S-shaped blowhole at the front left side of the head.
- About 20 peg-like teeth in each side of the lower jaw.
Additional informationSperm whales are usually found in medium to large groups of up to 50 individuals, although bulls are sometimes seen alone. The blow is unique amongst whales by being obliquely forward directed. The tail flukes will often appear before a deep dive. Dives may last up to 2 hours long (Kinze, 2002).
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Last Updated: 24/06/2008