Hawaiian Island Cetaceans

Sperm Whale

Scientific Name - Physeter macrocephalus

Average Length - Male: 17m, Female: 12m


Hawaii was a center point of a major nineteenth century commercial Sperm Whale operation.  Today, Sperm Whales can be found throughout the year in the deep waters off the Northwestern and Main Hawaiian Islands.  They hunt for food (including squid, sharks, skates and fish) in deep water (>2000’).  They are the second deepest diving whale and have been recorded at depths over 7000’.  The blowhole of the sperm whale is “S” shaped, located off-center to the left of the head and produces a unique ‘blow’. Sperm whales are the most sexually dimorphic whale as males are considerably larger than females.  In Hawaii large groups often consist of females and their offspring while males tend to roam alone.

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