Monday, July 30, 2007

Pygmy sperm whale fact sheet

Pygmy sperm whales are slightly larger than their closely related dwarf sperm whales. They are rarely seen at sea and are very difficult to identify. Even with stranded individuals, genetic confirmation of the species is sometimes required. Of the two species, pygmy sperm whales have a more squarish head and arched back. Pygmy sperm whales have been seen travelling alone or in small groups of 6 – 7 individuals. Like dwarf sperm whales they travel slowly at the surface and release a cloud of reddish-brown intestinal fluid if they are startled.

Pygmy sperm whales occur in tropical to temperate zones around the world. They prefer areas of deep water where they may dive to depths up to 300 m. Both sightings and strandings in the Azores are rare and are usually difficult to confirm.

• Male: 2.7 m
• Female: 3.8 m
• Calf: 1.2 m

• Female: 450 kg
• Calf: 55 kg

Global population: Unkown (population trend unknown)

Status: Data Deficient

Diet: Cephalopods, fish, crustaceans

Teeth: 24 – 32 in the lower jaw

Longevity: Unkown

Breeding age: Unkown

Gestation: 9 – 11 months

Nursing: 1 year

In other languages
Portuguese: Cachalote-pigmeu
Spanish: Cachalote pigmeo
French: Cachalot pygmée, Petit cachalot
Italian: Cogia di De Blainville
German: Zwergpottwal
Dutch: Dwergpotvis
Swedish: Pygmé kaskelot

Norwegian: -
Danish: -
Finnish: Kääpiökaskelotin
PolishKaszalot mały

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