Marine Mammals Information Database :Illustrated Guide of Marine Mammals

Sperm whale

Scientific Name : Physeter macrocephalus / Japanese Name : makkou-kujira


Order Cetacea
Suborder Odontoceti
Family Physeridae
Genus Physeter
Species macrocephalus
Subspecies -
Subtype -
CITES Appendix I IUCN RedData Status Vulnerable
Baleen plates or tooth-Upper jaw - Baleen plates or tooth-Lower jaw 18-25
At birth At weaning Adult Adult male Adult female
Body length 11.5-16.5ft 22.0ft - 49.0-59.0ft 36.0-42.5ft
Body weight 1t 2.7t - 36-68t 12-18t
Feature and Habit
They have the huge and squarish head. The blowhole is shifted to the left on the forehead. The lower jaw is slender and has large and conical teeth. The dorsal fin is hump-like and along the dorsal ridge to the tail stock are number of smaller bulges.The flippers are small and quadrilateral. The body is dark brown-gray and tend to have creases over the surface except the head. There are short grooves at the throat. The upper jaw has no tooth and the in lower jaw tooth count ranges 18-25 each side. In general, they inhabit in offshore waters. They are highly social. They segregate by sex. Sometimes they are in (maternal) pods of 40 to 50 whales.
Stranding Record(s) in Japan

Marine Mammals Skull Database

A click on the skull thumb nail will bring you to detailed images.

Sex - Reproductive Condition -
Body length - Locality -
Museum No. - Other No. -

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