Sperm whale


Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus)

Group formation: Matrilineal groups (<12) Male Bachelor groups /solitary males

Size: males 15-18, females 11, calf 4m

Weight: males 40-50tons, females 14tons, calf 1ton

Spout: 2m at 45° angle, second deepest diver 90min 2200m

Age: >80 yrs

Sexual maturity: males 18 yrs, females 9-13 yrs

Physical maturity: males 50yrs

Gestation: 14-16mths, 4-20 yrs in between

Weaning: 19-42 mths

Diet: mostly squid, octopuses, some fish

Distribution: Cosmopolitan, prefers ice free waters deeper than 1000m, continental shelf or canyons

Norway: only males are seen all year round in feeding grounds along the continental shelf (from northern Norway to Svalbard), in the Vestfjord June-September.

Population size: unknown, heavily exploited (67% reduced)

Conservation Status: Vulnerable A1d ver 3.1, Pop. trend: unknown

Threats: Vessel collisions, whaling (Japan, Indonesia), plastic pollution, man-made noise impacts (seismic surveys, military sonar), entanglement in fishing gear, over fishing

Vocalizations: http://cetus.ucsd.edu/voicesinthesea_org/species/spermWhales/sperm.html

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