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Encyclopedia > Sperm whale
Sperm whale
Scarred Giant (detail)— Artist: Chris Harman
Scarred Giant (detail)— Artist: Chris Harman
Size comparison against an average human
Size comparison against an average human
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetacea
Suborder: Odontoceti
Family: Physeteridae
Genus: Physeter
Species: P. catodon
Binomial name
Physeter catodon
Linnaeus, 1758
Sperm whale range (in blue)
Sperm whale range (in blue)

The sperm whale (Physeter catodon) is the largest of all toothed whales, making them the Earth's largest living carnivore and largest living toothed animal. The whale was named after the milky-white waxy substance, spermaceti, found in its head and originally mistaken for sperm. It has a cosmopolitan distribution across the world's oceans. The species feeds on squid and fish, diving as deep as 2,200 metres (7,200 ft) in order to obtain its prey, making it the deepest diving mammal in the world. Pods of females and young live separately from older males. Sperm whales live for 50 years and possibly more. See Talk:Sperm Whale for copyright info (basically, may be copied provided title (Scarred Giant) and artist (Chris Harman) are mentioned) You have my consent to use this image as long as the credentials can be listed with the words Scarred Giant by artist Chris Harman if this is OK... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species remaining extant either in the present day or the near future. ... Image File history File links Status_iucn3. ... This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. ... The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List and Red Data List), created in 1963, is the worlds most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species and can be found here. ... Scientific classification redirects here. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Classes See below Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates. ... Subclasses & Infraclasses Subclass †Allotheria* Subclass Prototheria Subclass Theria Infraclass †Trituberculata Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria For the folk-rock band see The Mammals. ... Suborders Mysticeti Odontoceti Archaeoceti (extinct) (see text for families) The order Cetacea (IPA: , L. cetus, whale) includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. ... Families See text The toothed whales (systematic name Odontoceti) form a suborder of the cetaceans. ... Genera Kogia Physeter The sperm whale family or simply the sperm whales is the collective name given to three species of whale, the Sperm Whale, the Pygmy Sperm Whale and the Dwarf Sperm Whale. ... Latin name redirects here. ... Carl Linnaeus, Latinized as Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as  , (May 13, 1707[1] – January 10, 1778), was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist[2] who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of nomenclature. ... Download high resolution version (1357x628, 35 KB) User:Pcb21 after User:Vardion, Sperm Whale range map v. ... Families See text. ... Carnivorism redirects here. ... Spermaceti (from Latin sperma, seed, and cetus, whale) is a wax present in the head cavities of the Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) and in the blubber of all whales. ... For other uses, see Sperm (disambiguation). ... A cosmopolitan distribution is a term applied to a biological category of living things meaning that this category can be found anywhere around the world. ... For other uses, see Squid (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ...


The sperm whale's enormous head and distinctive shape, as well as its central role in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, have led many to describe it as the archetypal whale. Partly because of Melville, the sperm whale is commonly associated with the Leviathan of the Bible. The fearsome reputation perpetuated by Melville was based on bull whales' ability to fiercely defend themselves from attacks by early whalers, sometimes resulting in the destruction of the whaling ships. Historically the sperm whale has also been known as the common cachalot. The word cachalot is originally Portuguese (cachalote), probably coming from cachola, a colloquial term for head. Sperm whales were commercially hunted until recently and declined as a consequence of over-harvesting, and they are currently listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. ... Moby-Dick book cover Moby-Dick - the official title of the first edition - is a novel by Herman Melville. ... For other uses, see Archetype (disambiguation). ... This article is about the biblical creature. ... The crew of the oceanographic research vessel Princesse Alice, of Albert Grimaldi (later Prince Albert I of Monaco) pose while flensing a catch. ... The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species continuing to survive. ... The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (commonly known as the World Conservation Union) is a nongovernmental organization (NGO). ...

Contents

Description

Head anatomy
Head anatomy

Sperm whales are the largest toothed whales, with adult males measuring up to 20.5 metres (67 ft) long.[2] Their distinctive shape comes from their very large head, particularly in males, which is typically one-third of the animal's length. In contrast to the smooth skin of most other large whales, the skin on the back of the sperm whale is usually knobbly and has been likened to a prune by whale-watching enthusiasts.[3] They are uniformly grey in colour, though they may appear brown in sunlight; white albino whales have also been reported. The brain of the sperm whale is the largest and heaviest known of any modern or extinct animal (weighing on average 7 kilograms (15 lb) in a grown male).[4] However, the brain proportionately weigh less than half the brain size of a human when body size is factored. This article is about the unit of length. ... A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes, ′ – a prime) is a unit of length, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... Prune refers to any of more than 125 varieties of fruit, most grown for drying. ... Albinism is a genetic condition resulting in a lack of pigmentation in the eyes, skin and hair. ... For other uses, see Brain (disambiguation). ... The skeleton of a Blue Whale, the largest animal on Earth. ... Kg redirects here. ... Look up pound in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about modern humans. ...


The blowhole is situated very close to the front of the head and shifted to the whale's left. This gives rise to a distinctive bushy blow angled forward. The sperm whale has no true dorsal fin, instead a series of ridges are present on the caudal third of the back. The largest was called the 'hump' by whalers and is commonly mistaken for a dorsal fin because of its shape. In biology, a blowhole is the hole at the top of a whales head through which the animal breathes air. ... Dorsal fin of an orca A dorsal fin is a fin located on the backs of fishes, whales, dolphins, and porpoises, as well as the (extinct) ichthyosaurs. ... Dorsal fin of an orca A dorsal fin is a fin located on the backs of fishes, whales, dolphins, and porpoises, as well as the (extinct) ichthyosaurs. ...

The flukes of a sperm whale as it dives into the Gulf of Mexico (courtesy NMFS)
The flukes of a sperm whale as it dives into the Gulf of Mexico (courtesy NMFS)

The fluke is also triangular and very thick. Flukes are lifted very high out of the water before a whale begins a deep dive. This image shows the fluke of Sperm Whale as it begins a dive into the Gulf of Mexico. ... Gulf of Mexico in 3D perspective. ...


Sperm whales have 20–26 pairs of cone-shaped teeth in their lower jaw, each 8–20 cm (3–8 in) long.[5] Each tooth can weigh as much as one kilogram. The reason for the existence of the teeth is not known with certainty. It is believed that they are not necessary for feeding on squid and indeed healthy well-fed sperm whales have been found in the wild without teeth. The current scientific consensus is that the teeth may be used for aggression between males of the same species. This hypothesis is consistent with the conic shape and wide spacing of the teeth.[6] Furthermore bull sperm whales often show scars which seem to be caused by the teeth of other bulls. Rudimentary teeth are also present in the upper jaw, but these rarely open into the mouth. Types of teeth Molars are used for grinding up foods Carnassials are used for slicing food. ... A centimetre (American spelling centimeter, symbol cm) is a unit of length that is equal to one hundredth of a metre, the current SI base unit of length. ... An inch (plural: inches; symbol or abbreviation: in or, sometimes, ″ - a double prime) is the name of a unit of length in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ...


Sperm whales are amongst the most sexually dimorphic (that is, males and females differ greatly) of all cetaceans. Males are typically 30% to 50% longer (16-18 m, 52–59 ft) than females (12-14 m, 39–46 ft) and are twice as massive (50 000 kg vs. 25 000 kg, 55 short tons vs 27.5 short tons). At birth both males and females are about 4 m (13 ft) in length and mass of 1 000 kg (1 tonne). Female (left) and male Common Pheasant, illustrating the dramatic difference in both color and size, between the sexes Sexual dimorphism is the systematic difference in form between individuals of different sex in the same species. ... Suborders Mysticeti Odontoceti (see text) The order Cetacea includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. ... The short ton is a unit of mass equal to 907. ...


The largest bull sperm whale verified and accurately measured was 20.5 m (67.9 ft) and 80 tonnes (88 tons).[7] However, there is evidence of much larger bulls than this. Owing to extensive whaling, sperm whale size may have decreased dramatically, as males were heavily exploited during the modern era, primarily after World War II. In a Nantucket museum there is a jawbone of a sperm whale which is 5.5 m (18 ft). The jawbone makes up to 20%-25% of the sperm whale's overall body length. Thus this whale might have been 28 m (90 ft) long, a mass of around 133 metric tons (150 short tons). Further evidence of larger bulls in the past resides in New Bedford museum, a 5.2 metres (17 ft) jaw of a bull that could have been about 25.6 metres (84 ft) long, with a mass of about 120 tons. In addition, logbooks found in the Nantucket and New Bedford museums are filled with references to bulls that were, considering the amount of oil they yielded, about the same size as these two examples- although whalers were notorious for exaggerating the yield of oil and length of whales they caught. Today, sperm whale males do not usually exceed 18 m (60 ft) in length and 52 metric tons (57 short tons). The largest sperm whales observed are comparable in size to the fin whale (and smaller than blue whales), making the sperm whale either the second or third largest animal species alive. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... A tonne (also called metric ton) is a non-SI unit of mass, accepted for use with SI, defined as: 1 tonne = 103 kg (= 106 g). ... Finback redirects here. ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) Blue Whale range Subspecies B. m. ...


Spermaceti

Main article: Spermaceti

Spermaceti is the semiliquid, waxy substance found in the head of the sperm whale. The name derives from the late Latin sperma ceti (both words actually loaned from Greek) meaning "sperm of the whale" (strictly, "sperm of the sea monster"). The common name for the species is actually an apocopation of Spermaceti Whale. Early whalers mistook the substance for the whale's semen. Spermaceti is found in the spermaceti organ or case in front of and above the skull of the whale and also in the so-called junk which is right at the front of the whale's head just above the upper jaw. The case consists of a soft white, waxy substance saturated with spermaceti. The junk is a more solid substance. Spermaceti (from Latin sperma, seed, and cetus, whale) is a wax present in the head cavities of the Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) and in the blubber of all whales. ... Spermaceti (from Latin sperma, seed, and cetus, whale) is a wax present in the head cavities of the Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) and in the blubber of all whales. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


One function of the spermaceti organs is a buoyancy or diving organ. Before diving, cold water is brought through the organ and the wax is solidified. The increase in specific density generates a down force (approx 40 kg equiv) and allows the whale effortless sinking. During the chase in deep levels (max 3,000m) the stored oxygen is consumed and excess heat melts the spermaceti. Now only hydrodynamic forces (by swimming) keep the whale down before effortlessly surfacing. In physics, buoyancy is the upward force on an object produced by the surrounding fluid (i. ...


Hypotheses on further functions exist: One incidentally discussed in Moby-Dick by Melville, is that the case evolved as a kind of battering ram for use in fights between males.[8] This hypothesis is consistent with the well-documented sinking of the ships Essex and Ann Alexander due to attacks by sperm whales estimated to weigh only one-fifth as much as the ships. The whaling ship Essex left Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1819 on a two-and-a-half-year voyage in the whaling grounds of the South Pacific to hunt sperm whales. ... The Ann Alexander was a ship from New Bedford that was rammed by a wounded sperm whale on August 20, 1851 near the Galapagos Islands. ...


Another possibility is that the case is used as an aid to echolocation (see melon). The shape of the organ at any given time is likely to focus or widen the beam of emitted sound.[9] The sperm whale actually has two nostrils — one external nostril, forming the blow hole, and one internal nostril pressing against the bag-like spermaceti container. Echolocation, also called Biosonar, is the biological sonar used by several mammals such as bats (although not all species), dolphins and whales (though not baleen whales). ... The melon is a oily, fatty lump of tissue found at the centre of the forehead of most dolphins and toothed whales. ... This article is about audible acoustic waves. ...


Spermaceti was much sought after by 18th, 19th and 20th century whalers. The substance found a variety of commercial applications, such as watch oil, automatic transmission fluid, lubricant for photographic lenses and delicate high-altitude instruments, cosmetics, additives in motor oils, glycerine, rust-proofing compounds, detergent, chemical fibres, vitamins and 70 or more pharmaceutical compounds. The crew of the oceanographic research vessel Princesse Alice, of Albert Grimaldi (later Prince Albert I of Monaco) pose while flensing a catch. ... Make-up redirects here. ... Glycerin, also known as glycerine and glycerol, and less commonly as 1,2,3-propanetriol, 1,2,3-trihydroxypropane, glyceritol, and glycyl alcohol is a colorless, odorless, hygroscopic, and sweet tasting viscous liquid. ... Laundry detergents are just one of many possible uses for detergents Detergent is a compound, or a mixture of compounds, intended to assist cleaning. ... Retinol (Vitamin A) Vitamins are nutrients required in very small amounts for essential metabolic reactions in the body [1]. The term vitamin does not encompass other essential nutrients such as dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, or essential amino acids. ...


Distribution

The Sperm Whale is among the most cosmopolitan species in the world, and is found in all the oceans and the Mediterranean Sea. The species is relatively abundant from Arctic waters to the equator. Populations are more dense close to continental shelves and canyons, probably because of easier feeding. Sperm Whales are usually found in deep off-shore waters, but may be seen closer to shore in areas where the continental shelf is small, such as off the Azores or the Caribbean island of Dominica. A cosmopolitan distribution is a term applied to a biological category of living things meaning that this category can be found anywhere around the world. ... Mediterranean redirects here. ...  Sediment  Rock  Mantle  The global continental shelf, highlighted in cyan The continental shelf is the extended perimeter of each continent and associated coastal plain, which is covered during interglacial periods such as the current epoch by relatively shallow seas (known as shelf seas) and gulfs. ... Motto (Portuguese for Rather die free than in peace subjugated) Anthem  (national)  (local) Capital Ponta Delgada1 Angra do Heroísmo2 Horta3 Largest city Ponta Delgada Official languages Portuguese Government Autonomous region  -  President Carlos César Establishment  -  Settled 1439   -  Autonomy 1976  Area  -  Total 2,333 km² (n/a) 911 sq mi... West Indies redirects here. ...


Ecology, behaviour and life history

Sperm whales are a prime example of a species that has been K-selected, a reproductive strategy associated with very stable environmental conditions that is characterized by a low birth rate, significant parental aid to offspring, slow maturation and high longevity. Females give birth once every four to six years, and the gestation period is at least 12 months and possibly as long as 18 months. Nursing takes place for two to three years. In males, puberty lasts for about ten years between the ages of about 10 and 20. Males continue to grow into their 30s and 40s and only reach their full size when about 50 years old. Sperm whales live for up to 80 years. In ecology, r/K selection theory relates to the selection of traits which promote success in particular environments. ... Reproduction is the creation of one thing as a copy of, product of, or replacement for a similar thing, e. ... Suckling redirects here. ... Puberty refers to the process of physical changes by which a childs body becomes an adult body capable of reproduction. ...


The social structure of the sperm whales species divides on sexual lines. Females are extremely social animals. Females stay in groups of about a dozen individuals and their young. Males leave these "nursery schools" at somewhere between 4 and 21 years of age and join a "bachelor school" with other males of a similar age and size. As males grow older, they tend to disperse into smaller groups, and the oldest males typically live solitary lives. Yet mature males have been stranded on beaches together, suggesting a degree of co-operation not yet fully understood.


The only predator that attacks sperm whales, besides human beings, is the Orca.[10] Large, roving pods of Orcas frequently target groups of females with young, usually trying to separate the sperm whale calf and kill it.[citation needed] Often, the female sperm whales can repel these attacks by forming a circle with their calves in the centre and then violently thrashing their tail flukes, so that no Orca can penetrate the formation. If the Orca pod is extremely large, they may sometimes also kill adult females. Large bull sperm whales have no non-human predators, as even Orcas could be killed by these aggressive, powerful creatures. Binomial name Orcinus orca Linnaeus, 1758 Orca range (in blue) The Orca or Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) is the largest species of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). ...


Feeding

A piece of sperm whale skin with giant squid sucker scars
A piece of sperm whale skin with giant squid sucker scars

Sperm whales feed on several species, notably giant squid, krill, octopus, and diverse fish like demersal rays, but the main part of their diet consists of medium sized squid. Most of what is known about deep sea squid has been learned from specimens found in captured sperm whale stomachs, although more recent studies have analysed fecal matter instead. One study, carried out around the Galápagos, found that squid from the genera Histioteutbis (62%), Ancistrocbeirus (16%), and Octopoteutbis (7%) were the most commonly taken,[11] and that most squid were between 12-650 kg in weight. An older study, examining the contents of whales captured by the New Zealand whaling fleet in the Cook Strait region, found a 1.69:1 ratio of squid to fish by weight.[12] Stealing of Sablefish and Toothfish from long lines has been documented and well known also (see below). Battles between sperm whales and colossal squid (which have been measured to weigh nearly 500 kg) have never been observed by humans, however white scars on the bodies of sperm whales are believed to be caused by squid. In one case three Sperm Whales were observed attacking or playing with a megamouth shark, a rare and large deep-sea species only discovered by man in the 1970s.[13] Download high resolution version (637x827, 487 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (637x827, 487 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... This article is about the animal. ... For other uses, see Octopus (disambiguation). ... The demersal zone is the part of the sea or ocean comprising the water column that is near to (and is significantly affected by) the coast or the sea floor. ... Orders Rajiformes - common rays and skates Pristiformes - sawfishes Torpediniformes - electric rays See text for families. ... For other uses, see Squid (disambiguation). ... Feces (also spelled faeces in British English, or fæces) are semi-solid waste products from the digestive tract expelled through the anus (or cloaca) during defecation. ... NASA Satellite photo of the Galápagos archipelago. ... A view from the summit of Mount Victoria, Wellington - Cook Strait stretches to the right (west). ... Binomial name Robson, 1925 The Colossal Squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni), sometimes called the Antarctic or Giant Cranch Squid, is believed to be the largest squid species. ... Binomial name Megachasma pelagios Taylor, Compagno and Struhsaker, 1983 The megamouth shark, Megachasma pelagios, is an extremely rare and unusual species of shark, discovered in 1976, with 37 specimens known to be caught or sighted as of 2006. ...


It is hypothesised that the sharp beak of a consumed squid lodged in the whale's intestine leads to the production of ambergris, analogous to the production of pearls.[14] The irritation of the intestines caused by the beaks stimulates the secretion of this lubricant-like substance. Sperm whales are prodigious feeders and eat around 3% of their body weight per day. The total annual consumption of prey by sperm whales worldwide is estimated to be about 100 million tons — a figure greater than the total consumption of marine animals by humans each year.[15] Ambergris Ambergris (Ambra grisea, Ambre gris, ambergrease, or grey amber) is a solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull grey or blackish color, with the shades being variegated like marble. ... For other uses, see Pearl (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with human weight. ...


It is difficult to see why the sperm whale has such a large head in comparison to the lower jaw. One theory explaining this is that the Sperm Whale's ability to echolocate through its head aids in hunting. Within the head, it contains a structure called monkey lips, which it blows air through. This can create clicks that have a source level exceeding 230 dB re 1 micropascal referenced to a distance of 1 metre.[16] It has been hypothesised that these were directed at prey in order to stun them, however experimental studies attempting to duplicate this effect have been unable to replicate the supposed injuries, and have cast doubt on this idea.[17] Echolocation, also called Biosonar, is the biological sonar used by several mammals such as bats (although not all species), dolphins and whales (though not baleen whales). ... The pascal (symbol: Pa) is the SI unit of pressure. ...


Long-line fishing operations in the Gulf of Alaska have complained that numerous sperm whales have taken advantage of their fishing operations to eat desirable species straight off the line, sparing the whales the need to hunt them themselves. However, the amount of fish taken is very little compared to what the sperm whale needs per day. New video footage has been captured of a large male sperm whale "bouncing" a long line, to gain the fish.[18] Long-line fishing is a commercial fishing technique that uses hundreds or even thousands of baited hooks hanging from a single line. ... The Gulf of Alaska is an arm of the Pacific Ocean defined by the curve of the southern coast of Alaska, stretching from the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak Island in the west to the Alexander Archipelago in the east, where Glacier Bay and the Inside Passage are found. ...


Diving and breathing

Sperm whales, along with bottlenose whales and elephant seals, are the deepest-diving mammals in the world. Sperm whales are believed to be able to dive up to 3 km (1.9 miles) in depth and 90 minutes in duration to the ocean floor. More typical dives are around 400 m (437 yards) in depth and 30–45 minutes' duration and generally move in a northerly direction. They can dive two miles (3 km) deep with one gulp of air for two hours. They carry three tonnes of blood which holds enough oxygen to help it achieve its diving depth. It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... Species M. leonina M. angustirostris Elephant seals are large, oceangoing mammals in the genus Mirounga, in the earless seal family (Phocidae). ...


The physiology of the sperm whale has several adaptations to cope with drastic changes in pressure when diving. The ribcage is flexible to allow lung collapse, and the heart rate can decrease to preserve oxygen supplies. Myoglobin stores oxygen in muscle tissue. Blood can be directed towards the brain and other essential organs only, when oxygen levels deplete. The spermaceti organ may also play a role (see above). This article is about the bones called ribs. ... This article is about the chemical element and its most stable form, or dioxygen. ... An X-ray diffraction image for the protein myoglobin. ... For other uses, see Blood (disambiguation). ...


Because of the great depths to which they dive, sperm whales sometimes drown when entangled in transoceanic telephone cables.[19] A cross-section of a submarine communications cable. ...


While sperm whales are well adapted to diving, repeated dives to great depths do have long term effects on the whales. Skeletons of sperm whales show pitting of the bones that is often a sign of decompression sickness in humans. Skeletons of the oldest whales showed the most extensive pitting, whereas skeletons of sperm whale calves showed no damage. This damage may indicate that sperm whales are susceptible to decompression sickness, and sudden surfacing could be lethal to them.[20] Decompression sickness (DCS), the diver’s disease, the bends, or caisson disease is the name given to a variety of symptoms suffered by a person exposed to a decrease (nearly always after a big increase) in the pressure around his body. ...


Between dives, the sperm whale will come up to the surface for breath and remain more or less still for eight to ten minutes before diving again. Odontoceti (toothed whales) breathe air at the surface of the water through a single, s-shaped blowhole. The blowhole is located on the left side of the front of the head. Sperm whales spout (breathe) 3–5 times per minute at rest, but the rate increases to 6–7 times per minute after a dive. The blow is a noisy, single stream that rises up to 15 m (50 ft) above the surface of the water and points forward and to the left of the whale at a 45° angle.


Taxonomy and naming

The sperm whale is one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in 1758 in his 18th century work, Systema Naturae; he recognised four species in the Physeter genus.[21] Experts soon realised that just one such species exists. In most modern publications the sperm whale is classified as the sole species in the family Physeteridae (and thus the only species in its genus). The sperm whale family is sometimes treated as a superfamily, Physeteroidea.[22] This superfamily contains only two other species—the pygmy sperm whale and the dwarf sperm whale. These two whales belong to the family Kogiidae. Carl Linnaeus, Latinized as Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as  , (May 13, 1707[1] – January 10, 1778), was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist[2] who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of nomenclature. ... Cover of the tenth edition of Linnaeuss Systema Naturae (1758). ... Families and genera Kogiidae Gill, 1871   Kogia Physeteridae Gray, 1821   Physeter The sperm whale family or simply the sperm whales is the collective name given to three species of whale, the Sperm Whale, the Pygmy Sperm Whale and the Dwarf Sperm Whale. ... In biology, a superfamily is a taxonomic grade intermediate between suborder and family. ... Binomial name Blainville, 1838 Pymgy Sperm Whale range The Pygmy Sperm Whale (Kogia breviceps) is one of three species of toothed whale in the sperm whale family. ... Binomial name Kogia sima Owen, 1866 Dwarf Sperm Whale range The Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima) is one of three species of whale in the sperm whale family. ... Genera Kogia Physeter The sperm whale family or simply the sperm whales is the collective name given to three species of whale, the Sperm Whale, the Pygmy Sperm Whale and the Dwarf Sperm Whale. ...


Mead and Brownell[23] however, list all three species in the family Kogiidae and dispense with the superfamily.


The following is an extract from Melville's Moby-Dick, in which he expatiates about the naming and common lore surrounding the sperm whale: Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. ... Moby-Dick book cover Moby-Dick - the official title of the first edition - is a novel by Herman Melville. ...

This whale, among the English of old vaguely known as Trumpa whale, and the Physeter whale, and the Anvil Headed whale, is the present Cachalot of the French, the Pottfisch of the Germans, and the Macrocephalus of the Long Words. ... It is chiefly with his name that I now have to do. Philologically considered, it is absurd. Some centuries ago, when the sperm whale was almost wholly unknown in his proper individuality, and when his oil was only accidentally obtained from the stranded fish; in those days spermaceti, it would seem, was popularly supposed to be derived from a creature identical with the one then known in England as the Greenland or Right Whale. It was the idea also, that this same spermaceti was that quickening humor of the Greenland Whale which the first syllable of the word literally expresses. In those times, also, spermaceti was exceedingly scarce, not being used for light, but only as an ointment and medicament. It was only to be had from the druggists as you nowadays buy an ounce of rhubarb. When, as I opine, in the course of time, the true nature of spermaceti became known, its original name was still retained by the dealers; no doubt to enhance its value by a notion so strangely significant of its scarcity. And so the appellation must at last have come to be bestowed upon the whale from which this spermaceti was really derived.
 
— Melville's Moby Dick, Chapter 32, named "Cetology"

Sperm whales are believed to have diverged from other toothed whales early in the evolution of the suborder—around twenty million years ago.[24] For the Figure of speech, see Ellipsis (figure of speech). ... It has been suggested that Balaenidae be merged into this article or section. ...


Relationship with humans

Cultural importance

The teeth of Sperm Whales, when mounted on rope, are important cultural objects in Fiji, where they are known as tabua. They were traditionally given as gifts for atonement or esteem (called sevusevu), and were important in negotiations between rival chiefs.[25] Today the tabua remains an important item in Fijian life. The teeth were originally rare in Fiji and Tonga (which exported the teeth), however with the arrival of Europeans the market was flooded with teeth, so many that it collapsed. The oversupply led in turn to the development of the European art of scrimshaw.[26] A tabua is a polished tooth of a sperm whale that is an important cultural item in Fijian society. ... For other uses, see Atonement (disambiguation). ... Scrimshaw is the name given to handiwork created by whalers made from the byproducts of harvesting marine mammals. ...


The sperm whale is also the state animal of Connecticut. A state mammal is the official or representative animal of a U.S. state. ... Official language(s) none (de facto English) Capital Hartford Largest city Bridgeport[2] Largest metro area Hartford Metro Area[3] Area  Ranked 48th in the US  - Total 5,543[4] sq mi (14,356 km²)  - Width 70 miles (113 km)  - Length 110 miles (177 km)  - % water 12. ...

Skeleton of a sperm whale
Skeleton of a sperm whale

Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 206 pixel Image in higher resolution (1062 × 274 pixel, file size: 82 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Sperm Whale ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 206 pixel Image in higher resolution (1062 × 274 pixel, file size: 82 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Sperm Whale ...

Population and hunting

See also: Whaling

The number of sperm whales throughout the world is unknown. Crude estimates, obtained by surveying small areas and extrapolating the result to all the world's oceans, range from 200,000 to 2,000,000 individuals. Although the sperm whale was hunted for several centuries for its meat, oil and spermaceti, the conservational outlook for sperm whales is brighter than that for many other whales. Although a small-scale coastal fishery still occurs in Indonesia, they are protected practically worldwide. Fishermen do not catch the deep-sea creatures that sperm whales eat, and the deep sea is likely to be more resistant to pollution than surface layers. The crew of the oceanographic research vessel Princesse Alice, of Albert Grimaldi (later Prince Albert I of Monaco) pose while flensing a catch. ...


In 1820, a sperm whale estimated to be about 25.9 m (85 ft) long attacked the Nantucket whaleship Essex. Only 8 out of the 20 sailors managed to survive and be rescued by other ships. Nantucket is an island south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, formed of glacial moraine. ... The whaling ship Essex left Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1819 on a two-and-a-half-year voyage in the whaling grounds of the South Pacific to hunt sperm whales. ...


However, the recovery from the whaling years is a slow process, particularly in the South Pacific, where the toll on males of a breeding age was severe. The Pacific Ocean (from the Latin name Mare Pacificum, peaceful sea, bestowed upon it by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan) is the worlds largest body of water. ...


Watching sperm whales

See also: Whale watching

Sperm whales are not the easiest of whales to watch, due to their long dive times and ability to travel long distances underwater. However, due to the distinctive look and large size of the whale, watching is increasingly popular. Sperm whale watchers often use hydrophones to listen to the clicks of the whales and locate them before they surface. Popular locations for sperm whale watching include the picturesque Kaikoura on New Zealand's South Island, where the continental shelf is so narrow that whales can be observed from the shore, Andenes and Tromsø in Arctic Norway and at the Azores where it can be seen throughout the year as opposed to other whales that are only seen during migration. Dominica is believed to be the only Caribbean island with a year-round residential pod of females and calves. Whale watching off the coast of Bar Harbor, Maine. ... Whale watching off the coast of Bar Harbor, Maine. ... A hydrophone is a sound-to-electricity transducer for use in water or other liquids, analogous to a microphone for air. ... Kaikoura is a town on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. ... The South Island The South Island is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the more populous North Island. ... Andenes is a small town in the the municipality Andøy in the county of Nordland, Norway, and had 5,549 inhabitants as of January 1, 2002. ... County District Municipality NO-1902 Administrative centre Tromsø Mayor (2004) Herman Kristoffersen (Ap) Official language form Neutral Area  - Total  - Land  - Percentage Ranked 18 2,566 km² 2,519 km² 0. ... Motto (Portuguese for Rather die free than in peace subjugated) Anthem  (national)  (local) Capital Ponta Delgada1 Angra do Heroísmo2 Horta3 Largest city Ponta Delgada Official languages Portuguese Government Autonomous region  -  President Carlos César Establishment  -  Settled 1439   -  Autonomy 1976  Area  -  Total 2,333 km² (n/a) 911 sq mi...


In the news

Female in Dominican Pod, 2005
Female in Dominican Pod, 2005

In July 2003 a huge blob of white flesh was found washed up on a beach on the coast of southern Chile. The 12-metre (40 ft) long mass of gelatinous tissue[27] gave rise to speculation that a previously unknown giant octopus had been discovered. However, researchers at the Museum of Natural History, Santiago concluded that the mass was in fact the innards of a sperm whale, a conclusion drawn by looking at the dermal glands. When a sperm whale dies, its internal organs rot, until the animal becomes little more than a semi-liquid mass trapped inside the skin. Eventually, the skin will burst, causing the internal mass to float free and possibly wash up on the beach.[28] Public Domain image taken from http://www. ... Public Domain image taken from http://www. ... For other uses, see Octopus (disambiguation). ... There are many Museums of Natural History around the world, including: American Museum of Natural History, in New York City. ... Satellite image of Santiago Santiago (full form Santiago de Chile) is the capital of Chile. ...


Dead sperm whales float towards shore quite often. Apart from the disposal issues identified above, beach managers fear that sharks, in particular the great white shark, will be attracted towards the beach by the rotting flesh, and potentially cause danger to beach users. For this reason, dead sperm whales are often towed out to sea before they become properly beached. This occurred twice in May 2004, once off Oahu in Hawaii where a dead whale was towed out 35 miles (56 km) to sea but floated back to shore two days later.[29] For other uses, see Shark (disambiguation). ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) Range (in blue) For other uses, see Great White (disambiguation). ... OÊ»ahu (usually Oahu outside Hawaiian and Hawaiian English), the Gathering Place, is the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands and most populous island in the State of HawaiÊ»i. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ...


Exploding whales

Main article: Exploding whales

Perhaps the most famous piece of sperm whale lore dates from 1970, when a long-dead, 8 short ton (7.25 tonne), 45 foot (13.7 m) long specimen came to a beach in Oregon. For a time, it was a curiosity to local residents. As the beach is public right-of-way, it was the duty of the Oregon Department of Transportation to dispose of it. They filled the animal with a half-ton of dynamite. On Thursday, November 12, the dynamite was set off, but the blast did not go toward the Pacific as planned. No one was hurt, but a car was crushed by falling blubber. Onlookers were covered with noxious-smelling bits of dead whale.[30][31] Exploding whale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... The short ton is a unit of mass equal to 907. ... This article is about the metric tonne. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... For railroad track easement see Track transition curve. ... This article is about a high explosive. ... is the 316th day of the year (317th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Dynamite was used to blow up a rotting beached whale, which had some unintended consequences. ...


January 2004 saw a more dramatic entry of the sperm whale into the global media spotlight. A dead specimen of the whale, 17 metres long and weighing 50 tonnes, had washed up on a local beach in Tainan City, Taiwan. On being transported to a university in the city, gas pressure from decomposition built up inside the body, causing an explosion. Nobody was hurt, but blood and entrails were spread over several cars and surrounding pedestrians.[32] Tainan redirects here; for the county of the same name see Tainan County. ...


Accidents

In March 2007, a Japanese fisherman drowned after his boat was capsized by a panicked sperm whale he was trying to rescue. The whale had wandered into the relatively shallow waters in a bay in Shikoku.[33] This article is about the island. ...


Bibliography

Cetaceans Portal
  • Carwardine, Hoyt, Fordyce & Gill (1998). Whales & Dolphins: The Ultimate Guide to Marine Mammals. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-220105-4. 
  • Randall R. Reeves ... et al. (2002). Guide to marine mammals of the world / National Audubon Society. New York: A.A. Knopf: Distributed by Random House. ISBN 0-375-41141-0. 
  • William F. Perrin, Bernd Würsig, J.G.M. Thewissen (Eds.) (2002). Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals. San Diego, Calif.: Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-551340-2. 
  • Spermaceti in candles July 22, 2007
  • Retroposon analysis of major cetacean lineages: The monophyly of toothed whales and the paraphyly of river dolphins June 19, 2001

This image shows the fluke of Sperm Whale as it begins a dive into the Gulf of Mexico. ... is the 203rd day of the year (204th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 170th day of the year (171st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ...

References

  1. ^ Cetacean Specialist Group (1996). Physeter macrocephalus. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 6 May 2006. Database entry includes a lengthy justification of why this species is vulnerable
  2. ^ Physeter catodon, Sperm Whale at marinebio.org
  3. ^ Mark Carwardine (1994). On the Trail of the Whale. Chapter 1. Thunder Bay Publishing Co. ISBN 1-899074-00-7. 
  4. ^ Facts about the sperm whale. Retrieved on 2007-03-19.
  5. ^ American Cetacean Society Fact Sheet. Retrieved on 2007-03-19.
  6. ^ Sperm Whale Facts. Retrieved December 26, 2007.
  7. ^ Wood, The Guinness Book of Animal Facts and Feats. Sterling Pub Co Inc (1983), ISBN 978-0851122359
  8. ^ Spermaceti as battering ram? (PDF). Retrieved on 2007-03-19.
  9. ^ spermwhale.org - Cranford
  10. ^ Pitman, RL; Ballance, LT; Mesnick, SI; Chivers, SJ (2001) "Killer whale predation on sperm whales: Observations and implications" Marine Mammal Science 17(3): 494-507 Abstract
  11. ^ Smith S., &Whitehead (2000) The Diet of Galapagos sperm whales Physeter macrocephalus as indicated by fecal sample analysis" Marine Mammal Science 16 (2) , 315–325 doi:10.1111/j.1748-7692.2000.tb00927.x
  12. ^ GaskinD. & Cawthorn M. (1966) "Diet and feeding habits of the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus L.) in the Cook Strait region of New Zealand" New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 2: 156-79 [1]
  13. ^ Compagno, L. J. V., (2001). Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Volume 2. Bullhead, mackerel and carpet sharks (Heterodontiformes, Lamniformes and Orectolobiformes). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. 1 (2): Rome. Pp. 74-78 [2]
  14. ^ Dannenfeldt K.H. (1982). "Ambergris: The Search for Its Origin" Isis 73(3): 382-397. abstract
  15. ^ Richard Ellis, Monsters of the Sea, 1994, The Lyons Press, p. 245.
  16. ^ B. Møhl M. Wahlberg, P. T. Madsen, A. Heerfordt and A. Lund, The monopulsed nature of sperm whale clicks, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 114, 1143-1153 (2003).
  17. ^ Benoit-Bird K. Au W. & Kastelein R. (2006) "Testing the odontocete acoustic prey debilitation hypothesis: No stunning results". The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 120 (2): 1118-1123 (Abstract)
  18. ^ Whale Buffet. Retrieved on 2007-03-19.
  19. ^ The Southwestern Company: "The Volume Library 1", page 65, 1987, ISBN 0-87197-208-5
  20. ^ Moore MJ, Early GA (2004). "Cumulative sperm whale bone damage and the bends". Science 306 (5705): 2215. PMID 15618509. 
  21. ^ (Latin) Linnaeus, C (1758). Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata.. Holmiae. (Laurentii Salvii)., 824. 
  22. ^ Mann, Connor, Tyack and Whitehead (Eds.) (2000). Cetacean Societies: Field Studies of Dolphins and Whales. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-50341-0. 
  23. ^ Mead and Brownell (1993). Order Cetacea. In Don E. Wilson and DeeAnn M. Reeder (Eds.), Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (Smithsonian Series in Comparative Evolutionary Biology). Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press. ISBN 1-56098-217-9
  24. ^ Sperm whale evolution. Retrieved on 2007-03-19.
  25. ^ Arno A. (2005). "Cobo and tabua in Fiji: Two forms of cultural currency in an economy of sentiment". American Ethnologist, 32(1): 46 – 62 Abstract
  26. ^ Perrin, W. (2002) Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, Academic Press, ISBN 0-12-551340-2
  27. ^ ZPi Cephalopod News: a blob 12 m long, 5.8 m wide, 1.6 m high was found near Puerto Montt in Los Muermos, Chile. Retrieved on 2007-03-19.
  28. ^ Unravelling the mystery of the white mass on the Chilean beach. Retrieved on 2007-03-19.
  29. ^ Whale washed-up in Oahu. Retrieved on 2007-03-19.
  30. ^ On Oregon's exploding whale. Retrieved on 2007-03-19.
  31. ^ Film of Oregon's exploding whale. Retrieved on 2007-03-19.
  32. ^ Account from MSNBC. Retrieved on 2007-03-19.
  33. ^ "Whale kills would-be rescuer in Japan", Reuters, Reuters, 2007-03-13. (English) 

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List and Red Data List), created in 1963, is the worlds most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species and can be found here. ... The World Conservation Union or International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 78th day of the year (79th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 78th day of the year (79th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 360th day of the year (361st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 78th day of the year (79th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... There are several prominent people named Richard Ellis, including Dr. Richard A. Ellis, Scientist and engineer. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 78th day of the year (79th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Science is the academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is considered one of the worlds most prestigious scientific journals. ... Carl Linnaeus, Latinized as Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as  , (May 13, 1707[1] – January 10, 1778), was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist[2] who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of nomenclature. ... Hal Whitehead is a biologist specializing in the study of the Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 78th day of the year (79th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 78th day of the year (79th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 78th day of the year (79th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 78th day of the year (79th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 78th day of the year (79th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 78th day of the year (79th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 78th day of the year (79th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 72nd day of the year (73rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Wikispecies has information related to:
Physeter macrocephalus

Image File history File links Wikispecies-logo. ... Wikispecies is a wiki-based online project supported by the Wikimedia Foundation that aims to create a comprehensive free content catalogue of all species (including animalia, plantae, fungi, bacteria, archaea, and protista). ... Suborders Mysticeti Odontoceti Archaeoceti (extinct) (see text for families) The order Cetacea (IPA: , L. cetus, whale) includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. ... Diversity Around 15 species; see list of cetaceans or below. ... Species  Balaena mysticetus  Eubalaena australis  Eubalaena glacialis  Eubalaena japonica Northern Right Whale range Southern Right Whale range The right whales are marine mammals belonging to the family Balaenidae. ... Binomial name Linnaeus, 1758 Bowhead whale range The Bowhead Whale (Balaena mysticetus), also known as Greenland Right Whale or Arctic Whale, is a baleen whale of the right whale family Balaenidae. ... Binomial name Linnaeus, 1758 Bowhead whale range The Bowhead Whale (Balaena mysticetus), also known as Greenland Right Whale or Arctic Whale, is a baleen whale of the right whale family Balaenidae. ... It has been suggested that Balaenidae be merged into this article or section. ... Species  Balaena mysticetus  Eubalaena australis  Eubalaena glacialis  Eubalaena japonica Northern Right Whale range Southern Right Whale range The right whales are marine mammals belonging to the family Balaenidae. ... Binomial name Range map. ... Species  Balaena mysticetus  Eubalaena australis  Eubalaena glacialis  Eubalaena japonica Northern Right Whale range Southern Right Whale range The right whales are marine mammals belonging to the family Balaenidae. ... Genera Balaenoptera Megaptera Rorquals are the largest group of baleen whales, with nine species in two genera. ... Genera Balaenoptera Megaptera Rorquals are the largest group of baleen whales, with nine species in two genera. ... Finback redirects here. ... Binomial name Balaenoptttera borealis Lesson, 1828 Sei Whale range The Sei Whaile or Say Whale, (Balaenoptera borealis) is a big large baleen whale, and as such is one of the stupiest animals in the world. ... Binomial name Balaenoptera brydei Olsen, 1913 Balaenoptera edeni Anderson, 1879 Brydes Whale range Bryde’s Whales are the least-known and in many ways the most unusual of the rorquals. ... Binomial name Balaenoptera brydei Olsen, 1913 Balaenoptera edeni Anderson, 1879 Brydes Whale range Bryde’s Whales are the least-known and in many ways the most unusual of the rorquals. ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) Blue Whale range Subspecies B. m. ... Binomial name Lacepede, 1804 Balaenoptera bonaerensis Burmeister, 1867 Minke Whale range Antarctic Minke Whale range Dwarf Minke Whale range The Minke Whale or Lesser Rorqual is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales. ... Binomial name Lacepede, 1804 Balaenoptera bonaerensis Burmeister, 1867 Minke Whale range Antarctic Minke Whale range Dwarf Minke Whale range The Minke Whale or Lesser Rorqual is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales. ... Binomial name Balaenoptera omurai Wada , 2003 Balaenoptera omurai is a species of whale about which almost nothing is known. ... Binomial name Borowski, 1781 Humpback Whale range The Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a baleen whale. ... Binomial name Borowski, 1781 Humpback Whale range The Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a baleen whale. ... Binomial name Eschrichtius robustus Lilljeborg, 1861 Gray Whale range The Gray Whale or Grey Whale (Eschrichtius robustus), more recently called the Eastern Pacific Gray Whale, is a whale that travels between feeding and breeding grounds yearly. ... Binomial name Eschrichtius robustus Lilljeborg, 1861 Gray Whale range The Gray Whale or Grey Whale (Eschrichtius robustus), more recently called the Eastern Pacific Gray Whale, is a whale that travels between feeding and breeding grounds yearly. ... Binomial name Eschrichtius robustus Lilljeborg, 1861 Gray Whale range The Gray Whale or Grey Whale (Eschrichtius robustus), more recently called the Eastern Pacific Gray Whale, is a whale that travels between feeding and breeding grounds yearly. ... Binomial name Caperea marginata Gray, 1846 Pygmy Right Whale The Pygmy Right Whale (Caperea marginata) is a baleen whale and as such is a marine mammal of the order Cetacea. ... Binomial name Caperea marginata Gray, 1846 Pygmy Right Whale The Pygmy Right Whale (Caperea marginata) is a baleen whale and as such is a marine mammal of the order Cetacea. ... Binomial name Caperea marginata Gray, 1846 Pygmy Right Whale The Pygmy Right Whale (Caperea marginata) is a baleen whale and as such is a marine mammal of the order Cetacea. ... Families See text. ... Genera See text. ... Binomial name Peponocephala electra (Gray, 1846) Melon-headed Whale range The Melon-headed Whale (Peponocephala electra) is a cetacean of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). ... Binomial name Peponocephala electra (Gray, 1846) Melon-headed Whale range The Melon-headed Whale (Peponocephala electra) is a cetacean of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). ... Binomial name Orcinus orca Linnaeus, 1758 Orca range (in blue) The Orca or Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) is the largest species of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). ... Binomial name Orcinus orca Linnaeus, 1758 Orca range (in blue) The Orca or Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) is the largest species of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). ... Binomial name Feresa attenuata Gray, 1875 Pygmy Killer Whale range The Pygmy Killer Whale (Feresa attenuata) is a small, rarely-seen cetacean of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). ... Binomial name Feresa attenuata Gray, 1875 Pygmy Killer Whale range The Pygmy Killer Whale (Feresa attenuata) is a small, rarely-seen cetacean of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). ... Binomial name (Owen, 1846) False Killer Whale range The False Killer Whale (Pseudorca crassidens) is a cetacean and one of the larger members of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). ... Binomial name (Owen, 1846) False Killer Whale range The False Killer Whale (Pseudorca crassidens) is a cetacean and one of the larger members of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). ... Binomial name Globicephala macrorhynchus Gray, 1846 Short-finned Pilot Whale range Globicephala melas Traill, 1809 Long-finned Pilot Whale range Calderón redirects here. ... Binomial name Globicephala macrorhynchus Short-finned Pilot Whale range Binomial name Globicephala melas Long-finned Pilot Whale range A Pilot Whale is one of two species of cetacean in the genus Globicephala. ... Binomial name Globicephala macrorhynchus Short-finned Pilot Whale range Binomial name Globicephala melas Long-finned Pilot Whale range A Pilot Whale is one of two species of cetacean in the genus Globicephala. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... Northern and Southern Right Whale Dolphin ranges Species Lissodelphis borealis (Peale, 1848) Lissodelphis peronii (Lacépède, 1804) The right whale dolphins, the Northern Right Whale Dolphin (Lissodelphis borealis) and the Southern Right Whale Dolphin (Lissodelphis peronii), are two of the easiest cetaceans to identify at sea. ... Binomial name Lissodelphis borealis Northern Right Whale Dolphin range Binomial name Lissodelphis peronii Southern Right Whale Doplhin range The right whale dolphins, the Northern Right Whale Dolphin (Lissodelphis borealis) and the Southern Right Whale Dolphin (Lissodelphis peroni), are two of the easiest cetaceans to identify at sea. ... Binomial name Lissodelphis borealis Northern Right Whale Dolphin range Binomial name Lissodelphis peronii Southern Right Whale Doplhin range The right whale dolphins, the Northern Right Whale Dolphin (Lissodelphis borealis) and the Southern Right Whale Dolphin (Lissodelphis peroni), are two of the easiest cetaceans to identify at sea. ... Binomial name Sotalia fluviatilis (Gervais & Deville, 1853) Tucuxi range The Tucuxi (Sotalia fluviatilis) is a dolphin found both in the rivers of the Amazon Basin and in the coastal waters to the north and east of South America. ... Binomial name Sotalia fluviatilis (Gervais & Deville, 1853) Tucuxi range The Tucuxi (Sotalia fluviatilis) is a dolphin found both in the rivers of the Amazon Basin and in the coastal waters to the north and east of South America. ... Binomial name Osbeck, 1765 Pacific Humpback Dolphin (Chinese White Dolphin) range Sousa plumbea Cuvier, 1829 Indian Humpback Dolphin range Sousa teuszi Kükenthal, 1892 Atlantic Humpback Dolphin range The Humpback Dolphin is a member of the genus Sousa. ... Binomial name Osbeck, 1765 Pacific Humpback Dolphin (Chinese White Dolphin) range Sousa plumbea Cuvier, 1829 Indian Humpback Dolphin range Sousa teuszi Kükenthal, 1892 Atlantic Humpback Dolphin range The Humpback Dolphin is a member of the genus Sousa. ... Binomial name Osbeck, 1765 Pacific Humpback Dolphin (Chinese White Dolphin) range Sousa plumbea Cuvier, 1829 Indian Humpback Dolphin range Sousa teuszi Kükenthal, 1892 Atlantic Humpback Dolphin range The Humpback Dolphin is a member of the genus Sousa. ... Binomial name Osbeck, 1765 Pacific Humpback Dolphin (Chinese White Dolphin) range Sousa plumbea Cuvier, 1829 Indian Humpback Dolphin range Sousa teuszi Kükenthal, 1892 Atlantic Humpback Dolphin range The Humpback Dolphin is a member of the genus Sousa. ... Species Stenella attenuata Stenella frontalis Stenella longirostris Stenella clymene Stenella coeruleoalba Stenella is a genus in the dolphin family. ... Binomial name Cuvier, 1829 Atlantic Spotted Dolphin range Synonyms Stenella plagiodon Cope, 1866 The Atlantic Spotted Dolphin (Stenella frontalis) is a dolphin found in the Gulf Stream of the North Atlantic Ocean. ... Binomial name Stenella clymene Clymene Dolphin range The Clymene Dolphin (Stenella clymene), in some texts known as the Short-snouted Spinner Dolphin, is dolphin endemic to the Atlantic Ocean. ... Binomial name Stenella attenuata (Gray, 1846) Pantropical Spotted Dolphin range The Pantropical Spotted Dolphin (Stenella attenuata) is a species of dolphin found in all the worlds temperate and tropical oceans. ... Binomial name (Gray, 1828) Spinner Dolphin range The Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) is a small dolphin found in off-shore tropical waters around the world. ... Binomial name Stenella coeruleoalba (Meyen, 1833) Striped Dolphin range The Striped Dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) is an extensively studied dolphin that is found in temperate and tropical waters of all the worlds oceans. ... Binomial name Steno bredanensis Lesson, 1828 Rough-toothed Dolphin range The Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis) is a fairly large dolphin that can be found in deep warm and tropical waters around the world. ... Binomial name Steno bredanensis Lesson, 1828 Rough-toothed Dolphin range The Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis) is a fairly large dolphin that can be found in deep warm and tropical waters around the world. ... Binomial name Montagu, 1821 Bottlenose Dolphin range (in blue) The Bottlenose Dolphin is one of the most common and well-known dolphins. ... Binomial name Montagu, 1821 Bottlenose Dolphin range (in blue) The Bottlenose Dolphin is one of the most common and well-known dolphins. ... Binomial name Montagu, 1821 Bottlenose Dolphin range (in blue) The Bottlenose Dolphin is one of the most common and well-known dolphins. ... Species Cephalorhyncus commersonii Cephalorhyncus eutropia Cephalorhyncus heavisidii Cephalorhyncus hectori Cephalorhynchus is a genus in the Delphinidae (dolphin) family. ... Binomial name Cephalorhynchus eutropia Gray, 1846 Chilean Dolphin range The Chilean Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus eutropia), also known as the Black Dolphin (although this name has fallen out of favour in scientific circles), is one of four dolphins in the Cephalorhynchus genus. ... Binomial name Cephalorhynchus commersonii Lacépède, 1804 Commersons Dolphin range Commersons Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii) is one of four dolphins in the Cephalorhynchus genus. ... Binomial name Cephalorhynchus heavisidii Gray, 1828 Heavisides Dolphin range Heavisides Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus heavisidii) is a small dolphin that is found off the coast of Namibia and the west coast of South Africa. ... Binomial name Van Beneden, 1881 Hectors Dolphin range Hectors Dolphin or White-headed Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori) is the most well-known of the four dolphins in the genus Cephalorhynchus. ... Binomial name (G. Cuvier, 1812) Rissos Dolphin range The Rissos Dolphin (Grampus griseus) is the only species of dolphin in the genus Grampus. ... Binomial name (G. Cuvier, 1812) Rissos Dolphin range The Rissos Dolphin (Grampus griseus) is the only species of dolphin in the genus Grampus. ... Binomial name Lagenodelphis hosei Frasers Dolphin range Frasers Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei) is a cetacean in the genus Delphinidae found in deep waters in the Pacific Ocean and to a lesser extent in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. ... Binomial name Lagenodelphis hosei Frasers Dolphin range Frasers Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei) is a cetacean in the genus Delphinidae found in deep waters in the Pacific Ocean and to a lesser extent in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. ... Species Lagenorhynchus albirostris Lagenorhynchus acutus Lagenorhynchus obliquidens Lagenorhynchus obscurus Lagenorhynchus australis Lagenorhynchus cruciger Lagenorhynchus is a genus in the order cetacea containing six closely related species. ... Binomial name Lagenorhynchus acutus (Gray, 1828) Atlantic White-sided Dolphin range The Atlantic White-sided Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus) is a distinctively coloured dolphin found in the cool to temperate waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. ... Binomial name Lagenorhynchus obscurus Gray, 1828 Dusky Dolphin range The Dusky Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) is a highly gregarious and acrobatic dolphin found in coastal waters in the Southern Hemisphere. ... This article is about the dolphin. ... Binomial name Lagenorhynchus obliquidens (Gill, 1865) Pacific White-sided Dolphin range The Pacific White-sided Dolphin (Lagenorynchus obliquidens) is a very active dolphin found in the cool to temperate waters of the North Pacific Ocean. ... Binomial name Lagenorhynchus australis (Peale, 1848) Peales Dolphin range The Peales Dolphin (Lagenorynchus australis) is a small dolphin found in the waters around Tierra del Fuego at the foot of South America. ... Binomial name Lagenorhynchus albirostris (Gray, 1846) White-beaked Dolphin range The White-beaked Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) is a marine mammal belonging to the family Delphinidae (dolphins) in the suborder of the Odontoceti, or toothed whales. ... Species Irrawaddy Dolphin () Australian Snubfin Dolphin () The Snubfin Dolphins (Orcaella) are a genus of dolphins, long believed to be monotypic, the only species being the Irrawaddy Dolphin. ... Binomial name Orcaella brevirostris Gray, 1866 Irrawaddy Dolphin range The Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) is a species of dolphin found near coasts and in estuaries in parts of south-east Asia. ... Binomial name Orcaella heinsohni Beasley, Robertson, Arnold, 2005 The Australian Snubfin Dolphin (Orcaella heinsohni) is a recently recognised species of dolphin first described in 2005. ... Families See text. ... Genera Delphinapterus Monodon The cetacean family Monodontidae comprises two unusual whale species, the Narwhal, in which the male has a long tusk, and the white Beluga. ... Binomial name (Pallas, 1776) Beluga range This article is about the whale. ... Binomial name (Pallas, 1776) Beluga range This article is about the whale. ... Binomial name Linnaeus, 1758 Narwhal range (in blue) The Narwhal (Monodon monoceros) is an Arctic species of cetacean. ... Binomial name Linnaeus, 1758 Narwhal range (in blue) The Narwhal (Monodon monoceros) is an Arctic species of cetacean. ... Genera Neophocaena Phocoena - Harbor porpoise Phocoenoides - Dalls porpoise The porpoises are small cetaceans of the family Phocoenidae; they are related to whales and dolphins. ... Binomial name Neophocaena phocaeniodes (G. Cuvier, 1829) Finless Porpoise range The Finless Porpoise (Neophocaena phocaeniodes) is one of six porpoise species. ... Binomial name Neophocaena phocaeniodes (G. Cuvier, 1829) Finless Porpoise range The Finless Porpoise (Neophocaena phocaeniodes) is one of six porpoise species. ... Genera Neophocaena Phocoena - Harbor porpoise Phocoenoides - Dalls porpoise The porpoises are small cetaceans of the family Phocoenidae; they are related to whales and dolphins. ... Binomial name Phocoena phocoena Linnaeus, 1758 Harbour Porpoise range The Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) is one of six species of porpoise, and so one of about eighty cetacean species. ... Binomial name Phocoena sinus Norris & McFarland, 1958 Vaquita range The Vaquita (Phocoena sinus) is a rare species of porpoise. ... Binomial name Phocoena dioptrica Lahille, 1912 Spectacled Porpoise range The Spectacled Porpoise (Phocoena dioptrica) is a rarely seen member of the porpoise family. ... Binomial name Phocoena spinipinnis Burmeisters Porpoise range Burmeisters Porpoise (Phocoena spinipinnis) is a species of porpoise endemic to the coast of South America. ... Binomial name (True, 1885) Dalls Porpoise range Dalls Porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) is a species of porpoise that came to worldwide attention in the 1970s. ... Binomial name (True, 1885) Dalls Porpoise range Dalls Porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) is a species of porpoise that came to worldwide attention in the 1970s. ... Families and genera Kogiidae Gill, 1871   Kogia Physeteridae Gray, 1821   Physeter The sperm whale family or simply the sperm whales is the collective name given to three species of whale, the Sperm Whale, the Pygmy Sperm Whale and the Dwarf Sperm Whale. ... Families and genera Kogiidae Gill, 1871   Kogia Physeteridae Gray, 1821   Physeter The sperm whale family or simply the sperm whales is the collective name given to three species of whale, the Sperm Whale, the Pygmy Sperm Whale and the Dwarf Sperm Whale. ... Families and genera Kogiidae Gill, 1871   Kogia Physeteridae Gray, 1821   Physeter The sperm whale family or simply the sperm whales is the collective name given to three species of whale, the Sperm Whale, the Pygmy Sperm Whale and the Dwarf Sperm Whale. ... Binomial name Blainville, 1838 Pymgy Sperm Whale range The Pygmy Sperm Whale (Kogia breviceps) is one of three species of toothed whale in the sperm whale family. ... Binomial name Kogia sima Owen, 1866 Dwarf Sperm Whale range The Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima) is one of three species of whale in the sperm whale family. ... Genera Berardius Hyperoodon Indopacetus Mesoplodon Tasmacetus Ziphius A beaked whale is any of at least 20 species of small whale in the family Ziphiidae. ... Binomial name Berardius arnuxii Duvernoy, 1851 Arnouxs Beaked Whale range Berardius bairdii Stejneger, 1883 Bairds Beaked Whale range The genus Berardius contains two species of beaked whale, Bairds Beaked Whale and Arnouxs Beaked Whale. ... Binomial name Berardius arnuxii Duvernoy, 1851 Arnouxs Beaked Whale range Berardius bairdii Stejneger, 1883 Bairds Beaked Whale range The genus Berardius contains two species of beaked whale, Bairds Beaked Whale and Arnouxs Beaked Whale. ... Binomial name Berardius arnuxii Duvernoy, 1851 Arnouxs Beaked Whale range Berardius bairdii Stejneger, 1883 Bairds Beaked Whale range The genus Berardius contains two species of beaked whale, Bairds Beaked Whale and Arnouxs Beaked Whale. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... Binomial name Indopacetus pacificus Longman, 1926 Longmans Beaked Whale range Longmans Beaked Whale, commonly also called the Indo-Pacific Beaked Whale either has the specific name Indopacetus pacificus or Mesoplodon pacificus, depending whether the animal is classified as a mesoplodont whale or not. ... Binomial name Indopacetus pacificus Longman, 1926 Longmans Beaked Whale range Longmans Beaked Whale, commonly also called the Indo-Pacific Beaked Whale either has the specific name Indopacetus pacificus or Mesoplodon pacificus, depending whether the animal is classified as a mesoplodont whale or not. ... Species See text The mesoplodont whales are the fourteen species of whale that make up the genus Mesoplodon, making it the single largest genus in the cetacean order. ... Species See text The mesoplodont whales are the fourteen species of whale that make up the genus Mesoplodon, making it the single largest genus in the cetacean order. ... Binomial name Mesoplodon bowdoini Andrews, 1908 Andrews Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon bowdoini), sometimes known as the Deep-crest Beaked Whale or Splay Toothed Whale, is one of the most poorly known members of a poorly known genus. ... Binomial name Mesoplodon carlshubbi Sowerby, 1963 Hubbs Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon carlshubbi) was initially thought to be an Andrews Beaked Whale when discovered by icthyologist Carl Hubbs, however it was named in his honor when it was discovered to be a new species. ... Species See text The mesoplodont whales are the fourteen species of whale that make up the genus Mesoplodon, making it the single largest genus in the cetacean order. ... Species See text The mesoplodont whales are the fourteen species of whale that make up the genus Mesoplodon, making it the single largest genus in the cetacean order. ... Species See text The mesoplodont whales are the fourteen species of whale that make up the genus Mesoplodon, making it the single largest genus in the cetacean order. ... Binomial name Mesoplodon grayi von Haast, 1876 Grays Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon grayi), sometimes known as Haasts Beaked Whale or the Scamperdown Whale is one better known members of the genus Mesoplodon. ... Binomial name Mesoplodon hectori Gray, 1871 Hectors Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon hectori) is a small Mesoplodont living in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Species See text The mesoplodont whales are the fourteen species of whale that make up the genus Mesoplodon, making it the single largest genus in the cetacean order. ... Species See text The mesoplodont whales are the fourteen species of whale that make up the genus Mesoplodon, making it the single largest genus in the cetacean order. ... Binomial name Mesoplodon peruvianus Reyes, Mead, and Van Waerebeek, 1991 Pygmy Beaked Whale range The Pygmy Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon peruvianusquailsouthafricanbushmanius), also known as the Peruvian Beaked Whale and Lesser Beak Whale, is the smallest of the Mesoplodonts and one of the newest discoveries. ... Species See text The mesoplodont whales are the fourteen species of whale that make up the genus Mesoplodon, making it the single largest genus in the cetacean order. ... Species See text The mesoplodont whales are the fourteen species of whale that make up the genus Mesoplodon, making it the single largest genus in the cetacean order. ... Binomial name Tasmacetus shepherdi Oliver, 1937 Shepherds Beaked Whale range Shepherds Beaked Whale (Tasmacetus shepherdi) also commonly called the Tasman Beaked Whale or simply the Tasman Whale is a cetacean of the family Ziphidae. ... Binomial name Tasmacetus shepherdi Oliver, 1937 Shepherds Beaked Whale range Shepherds Beaked Whale (Tasmacetus shepherdi) also commonly called the Tasman Beaked Whale or simply the Tasman Whale is a cetacean of the family Ziphidae. ... Binomial name Ziphius cavirostris G. Cuvier, 1823 Cuviers Beaked Whale range Cuviers Beaked Whale is the most widely distributed of all the beaked whales. ... Binomial name Ziphius cavirostris G. Cuvier, 1823 Cuviers Beaked Whale range Cuviers Beaked Whale is the most widely distributed of all the beaked whales. ... Binomial name Blainville, 1817 Boto range The Boto, Boutu, Amazon River Dolphin or Pink River Dolphin[1] (Inia geoffrensis) is a freshwater river dolphin endemic to the Amazon River and Orinoco River systems. ... Binomial name Blainville, 1817 Boto range The Boto, Boutu, Amazon River Dolphin or Pink River Dolphin[1] (Inia geoffrensis) is a freshwater river dolphin endemic to the Amazon River and Orinoco River systems. ... Binomial name Blainville, 1817 Boto range The Boto, Boutu, Amazon River Dolphin or Pink River Dolphin[1] (Inia geoffrensis) is a freshwater river dolphin endemic to the Amazon River and Orinoco River systems. ... For other uses, see Baiji (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Baiji (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Baiji (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Lebeck, 1801; Roxburgh, 1801 Ranges of the Ganges River Dolphin and of the Indus River Dolphin Subspecies Platanista gangetica gangetica Platanista gangetica minor Indus River Dolphin The Ganges River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica) and Indus River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor) are two sub-species of freshwater or river... Binomial name Lebeck, 1801; Roxburgh, 1801 Ranges of the Ganges River Dolphin and of the Indus River Dolphin Subspecies Platanista gangetica gangetica Platanista gangetica minor Indus River Dolphin The Ganges River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica) and Indus River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor) are two sub-species of freshwater or river... Binomial name Lebeck, 1801; Roxburgh, 1801 Ranges of the Ganges River Dolphin and of the Indus River Dolphin Subspecies Platanista gangetica gangetica Platanista gangetica minor Indus River Dolphin The Ganges River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica) and Indus River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor) are two sub-species of freshwater or river... Binomial name Pontoporia blainvillei Gervais & dOrbigny, 1844 La Plata Dolphin range The La Plata Dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei) is found in coastal Atlantic waters of southeastern South America. ... Binomial name Pontoporia blainvillei Gervais & dOrbigny, 1844 La Plata Dolphin range The La Plata Dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei) is found in coastal Atlantic waters of southeastern South America. ... Binomial name Pontoporia blainvillei Gervais & dOrbigny, 1844 La Plata Dolphin range The La Plata Dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei) is found in coastal Atlantic waters of southeastern South America. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Ocean Alliance - EDUCATION - Voyage of the Odyssey : Young Scientist (1963 words)
Sperm whales exhibit the greatest sexual dimorphism of any cetacean, with females averaging 10 m (35 ft) in length and a weight around 12 tonnes-1/3 to1/5 of the weight of their male counterparts (although size differences vary between oceans depending upon exploitation, when larger males in particular were targeted by whalers).
Sperm whales are masters of this discipline and may dive to depths of 2000 meters, where the hydrostatic pressure exceeds 200 atmospheres.
Sperm whales were easy prey for whalers as it was well known that members of a group would come to the aid of a companion in distress, so by injuring a single member of the pod, the whalers were often able to pick off the entire herd one by one.
Sperm Whale - MSN Encarta (690 words)
Sperm whales probably split off from the ancestors of all present-day cetaceans about 20 million years ago, and they may be as closely related to the baleen whales as they are to other toothed whales and dolphins.
The bodies of sperm whales are laterally compressed, with a single blowhole on the left front of the head and a thick dorsal hump originating at the hindmost third of the body.
Sperm whales were hunted intensively by American whalers during the 1800s for the light oil of their heads, and by factory ships of several countries in the 1900s for their meat.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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