Sperm Whale Fact Sheet

Sperm Whale Fact Sheet

These sociable and deep-diving whales get their name from a peculiar organ inside their giant heads, the spermaceti organ, which contains a type of oil that in the past whalers thought looked like semen. These incredible animals were sadly hunted for this oil, which was used to fuel lamps and make candles, soaps and cosmetics. The spermaceti organ is actually used in echolocation, a remarkable method of communication and navigation also used by bats, in which the whale produces clicks that bounce off objects back to the whale.

Experts

Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation