With this blog, I’ll try to take you inside Sperm whale’s habitats, behaviour and legends. I`ll explore their ecology to show you with the most dynamic way I can, how extreme these gigantic animals are.
Through pictures, videos, documentaries and scientific material, I’ll try to make you feel inside the sperm whales habitats.
But maybe you are asking yourself: “why sperm whales are extreme?”. Let me list you some quick facts about them.
- Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) live for 60-70 years and in the open sea . They can be found in all oceans, in waters deeper than 1 000 m that are not covered in ice . Males of this species measure up to 18 m in length and 57 tons in weight , while females measure up to 11 m and 24 tons .
- Sperm whales are the biggest toothed animals in the planet . They have 20-26 pairs of teeth in their lower jaw . The upper jaw doesn’t have teeth, but sockets where the lower jaw’s teeth fit into . Each teeth weight, in average, 1kg .
- Sperm whales are famous for their deep and long dives, down to 2 250 m  and 90 to 140 minutes long, deeper and longer than any other whale (with the possible exception of the bottlenoise whales) . P. macrocephalus feed on medium-size and giant squids, octopuses, sharks, bony fishes and demersal rays  . In these depths, there are no light and the animals need an adaptation to hunt: echolocation . This adaptation works as a radar, what makes possible ‘to see’ in the dark.
- In the past, macrocephalus were hunted because of the spermaceti oil , considered one of the finest lubricant oil of the planet. Today, these odontoceti are not a major targeted species for whaling industries anymore, but the impacts of a historical whaling and poor estimatives compromise a good model of sperm whale population structure . Models based on a global trend and population reduction of P. macrocephalus considered the species vulnerable, according to IUCN red list .
- Sperm whales are famous because of the Moby-Dick novel, written by Herman Melville , which describes a revenge of a fisherman over a massive albino sperm whale named ‘Moby-Dick’, which destroyed his boat and ate half of his crew.