Sperm whale, also known as cachalot, is the world’s largest toothed whale and is easily recognized by its enormous head and narrow jaw. These active predators, who prey on squids and bony fishes, are dark blue, brown, and grayish with white patches on their belly.
Despite big, square head, sperm whales are good at catching their preferred prey with their large conical teeth. Not only do they have large brains, but they also have the most powerful sonar that they use to find prey in the deep ocean. They have an incredible ability to dive to incredible depths in the sea. They can even stay down for several hours, which increases the likelihood of catching prey in the deep. Due to this predatory behavior, sperm whales generally live in deep water and are rarely seen along the coast.
Specialized sonar organ, known as a melon, and very large brain contribute to sperm whale’s characteristic block-shaped head, which is easy to identify. Their lifecycle is similar to that of humans, but female sperm whales do not reproduce until they reach their forties and give birth to only one calf at a time. As baby sperm whales cannot dive too deep, the group of mothers form a tight bond and share responsibility for protecting calves at the surface. While some mothers dive, others stay with the young until they return.
A Few Fun Facts About Sperm Whales
- The lower jaw of sperm whales is equipped with 36 to 50 conical teeth, while the upper jaw has a variety of vestigial teeth that do not erupt. Tooth collectors buy sperm whale tooth as their cone-shaped teeth ca be about 7.1 to 7.9 inches (18 to 20 cm) long and weigh up to 1 kilogram.
- Sperm whales can grow to a maximum length of 52 ft and weigh up to 90,000 pounds. Male sperm whales grow much larger than female whales.
- Sperm whales can live for up to sixty years.
- These active predators swim in oceans across the world - from the Arctic to Antarctica.
- Sperm whales’ heads account for about one-third of their body length.
- In the search for prey, sperm whales stay for up to two hours underwater at a time.
- Sperm whales are incredible diver - they can dive more than 10,000 ft to find their preferred prey, including large squids, fishes, and sharks.
- Every day, sperm whales eat up to 3- 4% of their body weight.
These were some facts about sperm whales. If you are a tooth collector and want to buy a sperm whale tooth, explore our collection for authentic whale and shark teeth and fossils.