Sperm Whale

Species Type:



Pacific Ocean

Water Type:



The largest (85-90' long; 40' in circumference; 90 tons) farthest ranging and deepest diving of whale types; distinguished by anvil-shaped skull, which contains especially valuable spermacetti oil. Has single, forward-slanting spout. Secretes ambergris, a valuable by-product of its diet of squid. Masticates with row of 42 bottom teeth. First hunted by Nantucket whalers (Coffins/Macys)in 1720s. Melville's Moby-Dick was a sperm whale.

Related Source:

Moby-Dick, or, The Whale (1851)

Related Glossary:


Related Marine Life:

Right Whale

External Links:

__Moby-Dick__, Ch. 32, "Cetology" __Moby-Dick__, Ch. 41, "Moby-Dick" __Moby-Dick__, Ch. 74, "The Sperm Whale's Head" Moby-Dick, Ch. 102, "A Bower in the Arsacides" Moby-Dick , Ch. 103, "Measurement of the Whale's Skeleton"

Related Images:

external image fish0_sperm_whale_0000.jpg
Image ID: 1029
external image rightwhalespermwhale.gif

Profiles of Right Whale (top) and Sperm Whale (bottom)
Image ID: 1762

Record ID: 37