The sperm whale is the largest toothed whale and the largest predator that hunts individual prey. Sperm whales routinely hunt for food at dives around 2,000 or more feet (610 meters) deep. At these depths, the pressure is at least 60 times greater than the pressure at the surface. Their body is able to withstand this pressure due to their flexible rib cage.
They consume animals like squid, sharks, skates, and fish, with the ability to consume 3% of their body weight per day. While underwater, they utilize oxygen stored in their blood and muscles. This is why they can go 90 minutes without coming up to the surface for air. These whales are present in all deep oceans worldwide.
They are typically found in deep water close to the edges of continental shelves. They are easy to identify by their huge square ended head and wrinkled skinAdult males typically grow to around 50 feet long (15 meters) and weigh around 40 tons (36 mt)Females reach sexual maturity at around 9 years of age.
They will then produce a calf every 5 to 7 yearsCalves are 13 feet long (4 meters) when they are born. Males often do not breed until their late 20s and they can continue growing until they are about 50 years old. Around 12 females and their young will form a social unit while males tend to migrate to higher latitudes and form pods of their own or they just go soloSperm whales are currently listed as likely to become endangered species.
Their population is still recovering from being targeted by the whaling industry from 1800 to 1987. They are currently threatened by entanglement in fishing gear and ingestion of marine debris that they may mistake for the foodThe head of a sperm whale contains a waxy substance called spermaceti is thought to aid in the control of their buoyancy. This substance used to be used for candles and oil lamps
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