Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Cetacea > Physeteridae > Physeter > Physeter macrocephalus

Physeter macrocephalus (Sperm Whale)


Wikipedia Abstract

The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), or cachalot, is the largest of the toothed whales and the largest toothed predator. It is the only living member of genus Physeter, and one of three extant species in the sperm whale family, along with the pygmy sperm whale and dwarf sperm whale of the genus Kogia.
View Wikipedia Record: Physeter macrocephalus


Endangered Species

Status: Vulnerable
View IUCN Record: Physeter macrocephalus

EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 42.13
EDGE Score: 5.15
View EDGE Record: Physeter macrocephalus


Adult Weight [1]  15.46 tons (14,025.00 kg)
Birth Weight [2]  1.102 tons (1,000.00 kg)
Diet [3]  Carnivore (Invertebrates)
Diet - Invertibrates [3]  100 %
Forages - Marine [3]  100 %
Female Maturity [2]  8 years
Male Maturity [2]  10 years
Gestation [2]  1 year 4 months
Litter Size [2]  1
Litters / Year [2]  0.2
Maximum Longevity [2]  77 years
Migration [4]  Interoceanic
Snout to Vent Length [5]  36 feet (1099 cm)
Weaning [2]  1 year 6 months

Protected Areas

Prey / Diet

Prey / Diet Overlap

+ Click for partial list (55)Full list (117)


Carcharodon carcharias (Maneater shark)[6]
Deconica inquilina[6]
Homo sapiens (man)[6]


Parasite of 
Trichinella spiralis (pork worm)[6]


External References

NatureServe Explorer


Attributes / relations provided by
1Felisa A. Smith, S. Kathleen Lyons, S. K. Morgan Ernest, Kate E. Jones, Dawn M. Kaufman, Tamar Dayan, Pablo A. Marquet, James H. Brown, and John P. Haskell. 2003. Body mass of late Quaternary mammals. Ecology 84:3403
2de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
3Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
4Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
5Nathan P. Myhrvold, Elita Baldridge, Benjamin Chan, Dhileep Sivam, Daniel L. Freeman, and S. K. Morgan Ernest. 2015. An amniote life-history database to perform comparative analyses with birds, mammals, and reptiles. Ecology 96:3109
6Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
7CephBase - Cephalopod (Octopus, Squid, Cuttlefish and Nautilus) Database
8Towards the trophic structure of the Bouvet Island marine ecosystem, U. Jacob, T. Brey, I. Fetzer, S. Kaehler, K. Mintenbeck, K. Dunton, K. Beyer, U. Struck , E.A. Pakhomov and W.E. Arntz, Polar Biology, 29 (2). pp. 106-113 (2006)
9Food Web Relationships of Northern Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca : a Synthesis of the Available Knowledge, Charles A. Simenstad, Bruce S. Miller, Carl F. Nyblade, Kathleen Thornburgh, and Lewis J. Bledsoe, EPA-600 7-29-259 September 1979
10Trophic Role of the Pacific Whiting, Merluccius productus, P. A. LIVINGSTON and K. M. BAILEY, Marine Fisheries Review 47(2), 1985, p. 16-22
11Szoboszlai AI, Thayer JA, Wood SA, Sydeman WJ, Koehn LE (2015) Forage species in predator diets: synthesis of data from the California Current. Ecological Informatics 29(1): 45-56. Szoboszlai AI, Thayer JA, Wood SA, Sydeman WJ, Koehn LE (2015) Data from: Forage species in predator diets: synthesis of data from the California Current. Dryad Digital Repository.
12Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Species taxanomy provided by GBIF Secretariat (2022). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2023-06-13; License: CC BY 4.0