The Pygmy Sperm Whale

Pygmy sperm whaleThe Pygmy Sperm Whale (Kogia Breviceps) belongs to the sperm whale family and since this creature is not often seen in the sea, there is very little information about its whereabouts.

Just like the giant sperm whale, there is a spermaceti organ in the forehead of the pygmy sperm whale and there is a dark red colored fluid in the sac in its intestines which gets released whenever it is frightened. It is considered that this fluid is expelled to disorient and confuse predators.

The length of a pygmy whale is about 47.24 inches (1.2 meters) at birth and after attaining full growth, they may reach a length of 137.79 inches (3.5 meters). The weight of an adult pygmy whale is about 881.83 pounds (400 kg). The back and the sides of the whale are bluish gray while its underside is creamy in color. Compared to its body, its head is much larger and if looked at from sideways, it appears swollen. The dorsal fin of this whale is considerably smaller than that of its cousin Dwarf Sperm Whale, the smallest whale, and this difference between the two species can be used for identification of the species. The lower jaw is small and hangs downwards.
It has 20 to 32 teeth and all of them are set in the lower jaw and it has a false gill behind its each eye. The Pygmy Sperm Whale is usually a solitary creature but sometimes, one may find also it in a group of five to six at a time. It feeds on crabs, small fish, or squid.

Much is not known about these whales, but there is some evidence indicating that they produce only once in a year. The gestation period is for about 11 months and a female gives birth during spring or autumn and at birth, a calf may weigh about 121.25 pounds (55 kg).

The Pygmy sperm whale can be found in all tropical, subtropical, and temperate waters, i.e. in Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. This species is known for migration and though its population is not known, it is not considered threatened.

Since these whales are seen rarely, most data regarding them comes from the stranded animals making their range and the migration map very difficult. This is the reason why these whales are not hunted on a large scale. A matter of concern regarding this species arises from that fact that although it is not considered an endangered species, plastic bags have been found in the stomach of some pygmy sperm whales.

The Pygmy sperm whale is listed as Least Concern (LR/lc), lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Namings for the pygmy sperm whale
A young / baby of a pygmy sperm whale is called a 'calf'. The females are called 'cow' and males 'bull'. A pygmy sperm whale group is called a 'gam, pod or herd'.
Pygmy sperm whale habitats
Epipelagic (0-200m) and Marine Oceanic
Some facts about the
Pygmy sperm whale

Adult weight : 424.6 kg (934.12 lbs)

Maximum longevity : 17 years

Gestation : 335 days

Litter size : 1

Litters per year : 1

Weight at birth : 82 kg (180.4 lbs)

Source: AnAge, licensed under CC

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