Sperm whale - This is one of the representatives of the cetacean squad. It is one of the largest toothed whales known to science. Sperm Whale Tooth Sizes very impressive!
The males of these giants reach up to 18-20 meters in length and can weigh up to 45-50 tons, and females up to 13 meters. A characteristic feature of sperm whales is that females and males differ from each other in many ways that are not peculiar to whales. Such as the:
- Number of teeth;
- The shape of the head.
Appearance and lifestyle of a sperm whale
The appearance of this mammal can seem awesome. A huge body, a square head and a dull skull make him a kind of monster of the ocean. By the way, the head of a whale occupies exactly 1/3 of the whole body! If you look from the side, it will resemble a rectangle.
The main feature of the structure of the head of the sperm whale is the presence of a spermaceti sac. This bag consists of spermatozet - a waxy substance that is identical in composition to animal fat.
A sperm whale mouth is located at the bottom of the head. On the lower jaw of a mammal, there are about 26 pairs of identical teeth of a conical shape (each tooth weighs 1 kilogram), and on the upper only 1-3 pairs.
The sperm whale's eyes are quite large, which is not at all characteristic of whales. His body is thick and almost round in section, it narrows only closer to the tail section. On the back of the whale there is only 1 fin, usually followed by several humps.
Hide u sperm whale whale wrinkled and creased. At first glance, you may get the feeling that it is all covered with wrinkles. Their skin color is different, but mostly dark gray, sometimes with a brown or even blue tint.
Rarely met white whales sperm whales. The dimensions of the sperm whale are awesome. On average, individuals grow 15 meters in size. Sperm whales usually live in packs, occasionally you can meet an individual - alone. Sometimes you can meet groups - males who lead a bachelor lifestyle.
It is interesting to know that individuals in such groups are almost all of the same size. These mammals communicate with each other using three sounds:
But if the sperm whale got aground, then it will be a loud reverb, as if sensing danger. The voice of these whales, like all others, is very loud and can reach 115 decibels (louder than the sound of an airliner).
Sperm whale habitat
The sperm whale spends almost his entire life at great depths. Its habitat spreads over all the oceans, except for the cold polar waters. These mammals approach the coast extremely rarely, only if they fall into deep trenches. Usually located at a depth of 200 meters.
Sperm whales are lovers of migrating. In summer, they like to live closer to the poles, and in winter - to the equator. Most often they can be found in the waters of South Africa, as well as Chile and Peru. Female sperm whales are found only in waters whose temperature does not drop below 15-17 degrees.
Sperm whale is considered quite slow compared to its counterparts and migrates at a speed of about 10 km / h. Sperm whale lover diving to great depths. A case was recorded when he dived to a depth of about 3,000 meters. The water pressure does not harm the whale at all, because its body is almost completely composed of fat.
The habitat of sperm whales is clearly divided between the groups of these animals. Rarely, whales living near the Hawaiian Islands move toward the Gulf of Mexico and vice versa.
Nutrition and reproduction of sperm whales
Sperm whale is a predator, like all other whales. The main diet includes squid of large sizes. Although sometimes he can eat fish. Cephalopods occupy almost 95% of the total diet of whales. The sperm whale food chain is located at a depth of 500 meters, so it has practically no competitors.
The sperm whale process is busy almost all the time. Even during migration, this mammal does not stop eating. There were times when the remains of ships, clothes, and even stones were found in the stomachs of this giant!
The sperm whale absorbs all food using the movements of the tongue. He does not chew his prey, but swallows it whole. If it turns out to be very large, then the whale can tear it into several parts.
Mature person toothed whale sperm whale considered at the age of 5 years. Males of these mammals mostly always create harems. About 15 females per male. During mating, whales become extremely aggressive. The males fight each other and cause serious injury.
The female carries the baby from 15 to 18 months. A cub is always born alone, the length of which is 3-4 meters. Mom feeds milk to the baby up to a year. All this time he keeps near her.
She is his perfect defense against large predators. It is even easier for the young to move after the mother at great depths, as if she cuts through the water column and the kitten does not need to make efforts and overcome the pressure.
In the future, the cub remains in the group, but eats on its own. First, a small fish, and from 2-3 years old switches to the standard diet of an adult. Sperm whales live on average 50-60 years.
At an advanced age, males often sail away from their group and wander alone. The only enemy of this whale are herds of killer whales, which often attack lone sperm whales.
The main differences between whale and sperm whale
There are a number of differences between a whale and a sperm whale:
- Body structure;
- The presence of teeth;
- The difference in size between females and males;
- Sperm whale, unlike in a whale, can completely swallow a person;
- Different diet;
- Movement speed;
- Depth of diving.
Sperm whales and man
Judging by the photo on the Internet and pictures in books, a sperm whale - a ferocious beast that is terrible to man. In fact, this is not so! Even as a predator, this mammal does not consider human beings as food. But there are situations when a person in the open ocean is near a sperm whale.
In this case, a person is better to quietly sail to the side. As soon as the whale begins to eat, the water column, together with the fish, goes to its mouth and a person can simply get there by accident.
But there were cases when sperm whales broke and turned over small vessels. This can occur during mating when the whales are particularly aggressive. A person should not be afraid of sperm whales, but it is better to stay away!