Sperm Whale Facts for Kids

Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) is the only species from the genus Physeter that is alive today. It is also one of the three species in its family of whales. Out of 73 species of toothed whales, the sperm whale is by far the largest of all.

Its head is shaped like a block and it is extremely big in size. The blowhole of sperm whales is shaped like ‘S’ and located to the left of its frontal body. It has flexible triangle-shaped flukes. Sperm whale has the largest eyes among all toothed whales. The intestinal system of these whales is the longest in the world. There are 18 to 26 teeth on either side of its lower jaw. Its upper jaw has sockets in which the teeth of the lower jaw fit perfectly. Each tooth weighs around 2.2 pounds.

It can grow up to 67 feet in length and weighs around 126,000 pounds. The size of its brain is the largest for any extinct or living animal in the world. It weighs around 17 pounds. The length of its head is equal to about one-third of its body length. Female whales are almost 50 percent shorter in length than the males. They are also three times lighter in weight than the male sperm whales.

The lifespan of sperm whale is 70 years or more.

Male sperm whales reach maturity at the age of 18 years. A female sperm whale gives birth to a calf after every 4 to 20 years. The mother suckles her calf from 19 to 42 months. However, typically, the newborn calf do not suckles after 13 years.

A female sperm whale produces single calf.

Sperm whales swim in tropical and temperate waters and are found in all oceans around the world. It is a deep-water mammal. Before taking another dive, the sperm whale floats up on water and stays there for about 8 minutes to breathe.

Sperm whale feeds on octopus, squid and other fish. In order to get its food, it can reach up to a depth of more than 6,000 feet. However, normally these whales stay below 2,620 feet.

Sperm whale goes down to a depth of 7,382 feet, making it the second deepest mammal in the world. Goose-beaked Whale is the world’s deepest mammal.

Orcas are the predators of these whales.

Other Name: Cachalot

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