The inspiration for the white whale of Moby Dick, sperm whales have the largest heads, biggest brains, and make the loudest sound of any animal on Earth. Region: Arctic, Antarctica. Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Iceland. Short, wide flippers, broad, triangular fluke, and a single blowhole. Sperm whales usually eat a little over kg almost 2, pounds of food per day. To find their prey preferably giant squid , they dive somewhere between and 1, metres and 4, feet , though they can go as deep as 2 km 1.
The Mating Marathon
ADW: Physeter catodon: INFORMATION
The sperm whale or cachalot [a] Physeter macrocephalus is the largest of the toothed whales and the largest toothed predator. It is the only living member of the genus Physeter and one of three extant species in the sperm whale family , along with the pygmy sperm whale and dwarf sperm whale of the genus Kogia. The sperm whale is a pelagic mammal with a worldwide range, and will migrate seasonally for feeding and breeding. The females cooperate to protect and nurse their young. Females give birth every four to twenty years, and care for the calves for more than a decade. A mature sperm whale has few natural predators, although calves and weakened adults are sometimes killed by pods of killer whales orcas. Sperm whales can live 70 years or more.
Whales are polygamous mammals, with females giving birth to live young and nursing them for several months. During breeding season, the male, or bull whale, copulates underwater with the female, or cow, in a complex mating ritual that varies widely from species to species. Mating entails long migrations to oceanic breeding grounds, vocalizations or songs and, sometimes, large groups of male whales, such as humpbacks, competing for females in violent displays of dominance. As large mammals with a gestation period of a year or more and another 5—6 months spent nursing newborn calves, whales generally breed once every 2 years. During this time, large numbers of whales congregate in the warmer waters of the tropics, such as those near Hawaii and the West Indies, where groups of humpback whales can be found mating between October and March.
Sperm whales roam the deep waters of all the oceans, though they seldom approach polar ice fields and are most common in temperate and tropical latitudes. They have also be seen occasionally near coastlines in the Gulf of Mexico, where they were once quite common. Sperm whales swim through deep waters to depths of 2 miles, apparently limited in depth only by the time it takes to swim down and back to the surface. Because they are so well-adapted for deep water swimming, they are in real danger of stranding when they move inshore. Above weights are given for mature male giant sperm whales.