Pygmy Sperm Whale
Name : Pygmy Sperm Whale
Scientific Name : Kogia breviceps
Class : Mammalia
Family : Kogiidae
Order : Cetacea suborder - Odontoceti
Shape : Small size, robust body with squarish head which looks conical when viewed from above with false gill behind each eye. Body may appear wrinkled. It may resemble a shark when it is stranded, as its underslung lower jaw and creamy white false gill are particularly apparent.
Fins : Broad, short flippers located far forward on body with a tiny, slightly hooked, falcate dorsal fin, height less than 5% of total body length.
Length : This whale can measure between 2.7 - 3.4 metres and the calves are about 1.2 metres long when they are born.
Weight : Adults weigh between 315 - 400 kg and newborns 55 kg.
Colour : Dark steel-grey to blue-grey back with the underside paler than the rest of the body and may be pinkish in colour.
Diet : Fishes, krill and octopus.
Population : Not known whether these populations are isolated.
Habits : When startled, may evacuate a reddish- brown intestinal fluid and then dive, leaving behind a dense cloud in the water; this may function as a decoy, like the ink of a squid. Blow inconspicuous and low.
Distribution : Mainly a deep-water species and is usually seen beyond the edge of the continental shelf. Appears to be relatively common off the south-eastern coast of the USA and around southern Africa, south-eastern Australia, and New Zealand.
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