See A Rescue Effort To Save 10 Stranded Whales loading...
See A Rescue Effort To Save 10 Stranded Whales
Scientists aren't sure why the massive sperm whales suddenly beached themselves in Indonesia.
This Bug's Penis Is a Built-In Violin loading...
This Bug's Penis Is a Built-In Violin
Get the why and how behind the sounds of the water boatman, sperm whales, and other noisy animals.
Why These Whales Are 'Standing' In the Ocean loading...
Why These Whales Are 'Standing' In the Ocean
One photographer captured a rare glimpse of what it looks like when whales snooze.
Sperm Whales in Caribbean Have Distinct Culture loading...
Sperm Whales in Caribbean Have Distinct Culture
The marine mammals form clans with their own unique dialects, a new study says.
Would you pay $15,000 for whale vomit? loading...
Would you pay $15,000 for whale vomit?
One whale’s vomit is another man’s treasure…
About Sperm Whale

Sperm whales are easily recognised by their massive heads and prominent rounded foreheads.

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. Sperm whales are known to dive as deep as 3,280 feet in search of squid to eat. These giant mammals must hold their breath for up to 90 minutes on such dives.

These toothed whales eat thousands of pounds of fish and squid—about one ton per day.

Fast Facts 

Scientific Name: Physeter macrocephalus

Type: Mammals

Diet: Carnivores

Group Name: Pod

Size: 49 to 59 ft

Weight: 35 to 45 tons

Newsletter

Never miss a Nat Geo moment

Your email address
Submit