What’s nearly 65 ft. (20 meters) long and weighs up to 57,000 kilograms. Did I mention that they can also dive to ocean depths of 2,250 meters (7,382 ft.). It’s the sperm whale, the largest of toothed whales, but in spite of their monumental size, a couple of recent videos seem to indicate that they just like to hang with you. Here’s the latest on sperm whales, what they do, what they say and how they talk to each other.
Don’t let the Name Scar Scare You!
Scar is an 11 year old juvenile sperm whale that is sometimes sighted off the coast of Dominica. In spite of the scary name, Scar seems genuinely interested in people, a characteristic displayed since he was a calf. Diver David Trescot has been in the water three times with Scar and the whale seems to enthusiastically enjoy his company. Scar seems to enjoy being scratched under his chin, of course that chin is about 15ft. long.
80′ of Monumental Marine Mammal
The Nantucket Whaling Museum has the jawbone of a sperm whale that measures 18 ft. long and they calculate that the entire animal could possibly have been 80ft. long.
The great white whale that was featured in Moby Dick and sank the Essex (one of the incidents that formed the basis for Melville’s great novel) was claimed to be 85ft. in length. Consequently, an animal of that size would demand caution and care when near, however, possibly because they have few natural predators, they seem to be perfectly at ease around humans.
Hanging Out Literally!
Speaking of hanging out, recent research suggests that female and juvenile sperm whales sleep in a pod, in an unusual, vertical position with their heads just below the sea’s surface. Staying asleep for up to 7% of the time.
How Sperm Whales Communicate
Do Sperm Whales Sing in ‘Dialects’?
That’s much more than I ever knew about sperm whales. Blue Ocean will keep the stories coming.
By Robert Frerck, Blue Ocean Newtwork
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