Related topics: whales

The limits of ocean heavyweights: Prey curb whales' gigantic size

At 100 feet long and weighing more than 100 tons, blue whales are the largest creatures to have evolved on the planet. Other whales, like killer whales, are larger than most terrestrial animals but pale in comparison to the ...

Sperm whale 'clicks' help scientists understand behaviour

Scientists have recorded thousands of hours of "clicks" that sperm whales make to forage for food and communicate, helping them better understand the behaviour of one of the Southern Ocean's key predators.

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Sperm whale family

Physeteroidea Kogiidae

The sperm whale family, or sperm whales, is a common name for the family Physeteridae or superfamily Physeteroidea. The three existing species of whale are the Sperm Whale, in the genus Physeter, and the Pygmy Sperm Whale and Dwarf Sperm Whale, in the genus Kogia. In the past these genera have sometimes been united in the single family, Physeteridae, with the two Kogia species in a subfamily (Kogiinae), however recent practice is to allocate the genus Kogia to its own family, Kogiidae, leaving Physeteridae as a monotypic (single extant species) family, although additional fossil representatives of both families are known (see "Evolution"). The name Sperm Whale comes from sailors of whaling boats who thought that the spermaceti on the whales head was actual sperm from the reproductive system.

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