Amazing Facts About the World’s Largest Toothed Predator
Sperm whales are some of the most amazing creatures on Earth. These huge creatures are the stuff of legends as the subject of myths, stories and even a classic novel about a vengeful captain trying to kill a white whale. Stories aside, here are some facts about these graceful predators of the deep blue sea.
The sperm whale is the largest predator on the planet that has teeth in its mouth.
My, What Big Teeth You Have!
Each tooth weighs 2 pounds and grows to about 7 inches long. Sperm whales have between 40 and 52 teeth in their jaws.
All This and Brains Too
Sperm whales have the largest brain of any animal on the Earth.
White Stuff in Heads
Inside the head of each sperm whale is a thick, white substance called spermaceti, hence the common name. No one knows what purpose this fluid serves.
Sperm whales love to eat squid, even giant ones, for food. Some sperm whales have permanent markings on their skin from when squid try to defend themselves with their tentacles. Sperm whales eat 1 ton of food per day, and females may eat up to 800 squid daily.
Males move from pole to pole in the Pacific Ocean, while females and calves mainly stay in tropical zones.
Sperm whales can dive up to 3,280 feet deep on hunting trips to find food.
These magnificent creatures can hold their breath up to 90 minutes on deep dives for food. Watch this behemoth prep for his dive by taking several breaths in succession before diving beneath the surface.