Sonar and Echolocation

It is well known that cetaceans use echolocation to track prey and map the underwater world; this is especially important for sperm whales as they predate at great depth where it is far too dark to rely on visual targeting of prey.

It is thought that the ‘clicks’ used for echolocation can also be used by Sperm Whales to stun and disorientate prey, a suggestion which is made realistic by the volume of these clicks – up to 230 decibels! Which is the loudest sound made in the animal kingdom!

This is due to the Sperm Whale’s bulbous head. Inside the head there is a number of sacs of spermaceti oil which is used to focus the sound into a more directed and concentrated blast.

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