Sperm WhalePhotos, Pictures, Prints

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Physeter macrocephalus

The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) is the largest of the toothed whales. In fact, it is the largest toothed predator on earth.

In terms of living arrangements, females and young males of the species live together in groups. Meanwhile, mature males live solitary lives outside of the mating season. Within the family groups, females cooperate to protect and nurse their young. Amazingly, females give birth only every four to twenty years. They care for the calves for more than a decade.

Normally, a mature sperm whale has few natural predators. However, calves and weakened adults are sometimes killed by pods of orcas.

Mature males average 16 metres (52 ft) in length but some may reach 20.5 metres (67 ft). That said, the head represents up to one-third of the animal’s length. Plunging to 2,250 metres (7,382 ft), it is the second deepest diving mammal, following only the Cuvier’s beaked whale.

The sperm whale displays echolocation and communication, with vocalizations as loud as 230 decibels underwater. Perhaps this is because it has the largest brain of any animal on Earth. In fact, it’s brain is more than five times heavier than a human’s.

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