Fun Sperm Whale Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 22, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Sperm Whale facts which are fascinating and edifying for all.

The Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) also recognized as Cachalot is the biggest of the toothed whales and the only existing branch of the Physeter (genus). Sperm Whales are also among the three living lineages of the family of Sperm Whales which involves two other species as well namely the Pygmy Sperm Whale and Dwarf Sperm Whale.

The Sperm Whale's geographic range is vast. It is an open sea mammal and is found all over the world in the deep ocean.

The Sperm Whale's name is a contraction of Spermaceti Whales, but the derivation or the origin of the name is still ambiguous. However, Sperm Whales have a wax-like substance in a semi-liquid form inside their brain, called spermaceti, which was mistakenly thought to be the male reproductive semen.

This semi-liquid wax obtained from Sperm Whales has a very demand in the market and industries for its utilization in making soaps, oils, lubricants, and other products. The females accompany young males and prefer to live in a group while the male prefers to live in solitary except during the breeding season.

Want to know more engaging information about Sperm Whales? Then keep reading.

If you like this article then make sure to check out bowhead whale and whale shark facts for more informational pieces of knowledge.

Sperm Whale Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Sperm Whale?

The Sperm Whale, Physeter genus, is a type of whale.

What class of animal does a Sperm Whale belong to?

Sperm Whales belong to the class of mammals and family Physeteridae.

How many Sperm Whales are there in the world?

The abundance of Sperm Whales is degrading day by day and now there are approximately 300,000 left in the whole world.

Where does a Sperm Whale live?

Sperm Whales are deep-ocean creatures and are found all over the world.

What is a Sperm Whale's habitat?

Sperm Whales can be detected from the equatorial region to the Arctic and Antarctic, and so the Sperm Whale distance traveled in its lifetime is vast. It can be found in tropical deep water to the deep Arctic Ocean.

Who do Sperm Whales live with?

Female Sperm Whales swim in groups also known as pods with other young whales to keep them protected from predators like large whales of other varieties. Meanwhile, the male Sperm Whales live solitary lives except for during the breeding season.

How long does a Sperm Whale live?

The standard life span of Sperm Whales is somewhere between 60-70 years.

How do they reproduce?

Marine mammals like Sperm Whales reproduce by sexual meiosis. The female Sperm Whales attains maturity by the time it is nine years old while male Sperm Whales attain maturity when they turn 18.

During the breeding season, the males compete with each other and then copulate with multiple partners. The gestation period is 15 months and the female reproduces an individual calf at a time.

What is their conservation status?

The precise figure of Sperm Whales living in the deep sea is difficult to calculate. However, it is assumed the figure is somewhere between 300,000 and 450,000. They are an endangered lineage and are vulnerable at the least and hence several measures have been taken to cease commercial whaling. Sperm Whales are protected all over the globe.

Sperm Whale Fun Facts

What do Sperm Whales look like?

Sperm Whales are enormous, with a body length of 623-816 in (1584-2072 cm) for the males and a body length of 348-432 in (883-1097 cm) for females. They weigh almost 30864-90389 lb (14000-41000 kg).

Sperm Whales have the largest brain of all the varieties both existing and extinct. Their block-shaped head is another striking feature about them and this block-shaped head happened to form one-third of their total body weight.

Sperm Whale teeth are enormous. These big-toothed whales have conical structured teeth located on their slender lower jaw while the upper jaw comprises no teeth but the socket-like arrangement where the lower jaw teeth accommodate perfectly. However, rudimentary teeth may be present but hardly they appear in the mouth.

The other distinctive feature is how their ribs and their spines are bound by cartilage which aids them in repeated diving under the ocean. It is rather hard to confuse them with the others because of their unusual appearance.

Also, they have an S-shaped blowhole that is placed very close to their skull. Their tail lobes are triangle-shaped and are highly adaptable. The adult whales have a slightly wrinkled back surface and in a rare case, albino whales are also spotted.

The Sperm Whale’s extraordinary appearance differentiates it from other varieties of whales.

How cute are they?

Sperm Whales are gigantic marine animals, found in the deep ocean of the earth. Their body size and physical manifestation may be a little intimidating and frightening therefore it is hard to perceive them to be cute.

How do they communicate?

The Sperm Whales are not blessed with a sharp vision so they use high-frequency sound to communicate with each other and for hunting down their prey with the help of echolocation which is the process of sending clicks which are of high frequency and then listening to the pitch which bounces back.

This high-pitched sound is called codes and the codes vary from one variety of whales to the other.

The codes used by females to communicate with their offspring differ from the codes of male Sperm Whales.

How big is a Sperm Whale?

The Sperm Whale size is massive, the males are roughly 623-816 in (1584-2072 cm) While the females are roughly 348-432 in (883-1097 cm) making them one of the vastest sea creatures. They are twice the size of a Narwhal.

How fast can a Sperm Whale move?

Sperm Whales move at the speed of 3-9 mp/h (5-15 km/h) while cruising normally but once it picks up speed it can swim at a speed of 22-28 mp/h (35-45 km/h) for one hour under the sea.

How much does a Sperm Whale weigh?

The standard weight of the adult male Sperm Whales is approximately 26455 lb (50000 kg) while the females are comparatively small and weigh around 26455 lb (12000 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male Sperm Whales are referred to as bulls while the female whales are referred to as female Sperm Whales. No other sub-categorized name has been allotted according to their gender.

What would you call a baby Sperm Whale?

The baby Sperm Whales are often referred to as a calf. The Sperm Whale geographic range is vast and hence they move in pods accompanied by the females who keep them safe from the other predators.

What do they eat?

Sperm Whales eat other aquatic animals, they primarily prey on giant squids, sharks, skates. Sometimes they are found contending with Orcas in search of prey. They can locate their prey using echolocation.

Are they dangerous?

Sperm Whales are found only in deep-sea waters, and while their temperament is calm, certain incidents may prove that they can be dangerous at times especially when they are attacked during whaling. They are also huge marine animals so their size can make them fearful.

Would they make a good pet?

No, it is rather unthinkable to keep them as a pet.

Did you know...

Here are a few fascinating facts about the magnificent Sperm Whale.

The name is a contraction of Spermaceti Whale and they are also known as Cachalot.

The weight of a Sperm Whale’s heart is equivalent to the aggregate mass of two humans.

The popular novel Moby Dick is based on two Sperm Whales one of which was an albino called ‘Mocha Dick’.

The feces of Sperm Whales act as a food source of the phytoplankton.

Sperm Whales can stay underwater for about 60 minutes.

Sperm Whales eat approximately900 kg of food every day.

Is the Sperm Whale endangered?

The status of Sperm Whales is Endangered, however, it is difficult to provide an exact estimation of their number. Spermaceti Whales are found all over the world in the deep-sea waters and they are hunted for their high commercial value.

Their average life span is nearly 50-70 years and because of commercial whaling, they do not survive that long. There are several laws enforced against commercial whaling to keep them secure.

What is special about Sperm Whales?

The Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) or Cachalot are known to have the biggest brain which consists of spermaceti. Also, their forehead is prominently spherical. They can hold their breath for 90 long minutes and dive as deep as 3,280 ft underwater. They can eat about 1000 kg of fishes and squids in one day.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including common dolphin, or harbour porpoise.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Sperm Whale coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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