Linnaeus , Sperm Whale range in blue The Sperm Whale Physeter macrocephalus is the largest of all toothed whales and is the largest toothed animal alive, measuring up to 18 metres 60 ft long. The whale was named after the milky-white substance spermaceti found in its head and originally mistaken for sperm. The Sperm Whale's enormous head and distinctive shape, as well as its central role in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, have led many to describe it as the archetypal whale. Partly due to Melville, the Sperm Whale is commonly associated with the mythological Leviathan of the Bible.
Sperm Whale Facts
Sperm Whale - Whale Facts and Information
A similar size is reported from a jawbone from the British Natural History Museum. The sperm whale's distinctive shape comes from its very large, block-shaped head, which can be one-quarter to one-third of the animal's length. The S-shaped blowhole is located very close to the front of the head and shifted to the whale's left. The sperm whale's flukes tail lobes are triangular and very thick. Proportionally, they are larger than that of any other cetacean, and are very flexible.
The Sperm Whale Got Its Name from Sperm
Sperm whales are easily recognized by their massive heads and prominent rounded foreheads. Spermaceti and Diving Capabilities They have the largest brain of any creature known to have lived on Earth. Their heads also hold large quantities of a substance called spermaceti. Whalers once believed that the oily fluid was sperm, but scientists still do not understand the function of spermaceti. One common theory is that the fluid—which hardens to wax when cold—helps the whale alter its buoyancy so it can dive deep and rise again.
IUCN conservation status: Vulnerable What do sperm whales look like? The mighty sperm whales look nothing like any other whale. For a start, they each have an enormous square-shaped head which accounts for around a third of their body length.