eastern cape scuba diving
<<< BACK

Scientific name: Physeter macrocephalus
Common name: Sperm whale
Phyulm Sub Phylum Class Sub Class Order Sub Order Family Sub Family Genus Species
Chordata Vertebrata Mammalia Theriformes Cetacea Cetacea Physeteridae Not Defined Physeter Physeter macrocephalus


Short Description:

The sperm whale's distinctive shape comes from its very large head, which is typically one-third of the animal's length. The blowhole is located very close to the front of the head and shifted to the whale's left This gives rise to a distinctive bushy, forward-angled spray.
The flukes of a sperm whale as it dives into the Gulf of Mexico The sperm whale's flukes are triangular and very thick. The whale lifts its flukes high out of the water as it begins a dive.It has a series of ridges on the back's caudal third instead of a dorsal fin. The largest ridge was called the 'hump' by whalers, and can be mistaken for a dorsal fin because of its shape.

In contrast to the smooth skin of most large whales, its back skin is usually knobbly and has been likened to a prune by whale-watching enthusiasts. Skin is normally a uniform grey in colour, though it may appear brown in sunlight. Albinos have also been reported.

Size: 20.5m
Behaviour: he sperm whale's clicking vocalization is the loudest sound produced by any animal, but its functions are uncertain. These whales live in groups called pods. Pods of females and their young live separately from older males. The females cooperate to protect and nurse their young.
Diet: The species feeds on squid and fish,
Distribution: The sperm whale is among the most cosmopolitan species. It prefers ice-free waters over 1,000 metres deep. Although both sexes range through temperate and tropical oceans and seas, only adult males populate higher latitudes.
Depth: 3000m
Habitat: Pelagic
  •  Two Oceans
    (A guide to the marine life of Southern Africa
    GM Branch;CL Griffiths;ML Branch;LE Beckley
  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Similar Species:
  • None on database

Database Statistics
(Click on the links for more information)
Photographer Date City Area Dive site Temp Size Depth Camera Photo Video
website design, search engine optimisation by ZAWebs Designs
web hosting by ZAWebs Hosting
eastern cape scuba diving