Pygmy Sperm Whale
Whale Watching South Africa

Name : Pygmy Sperm Whale
Scientific Name : Kogia breviceps
Class : Mammalia
Family : Kogiidae
Order : Cetacea suborder - Odontoceti
Shape : Pygmy Sperm Whales are small in 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 : The Pygmy Sperm 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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Whale Watching South Africa : Whale Trail Hermanus, Cape Whale Coast, Garden Route
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