Dwarf Sperm Whale Facts
- Most notably, the incredible Dwarf Sperm Whale ranks as the smallest of all known cetaceans considered whales.
- When spotted, however, observers often mistake this creature for a visually similar, and only slightly larger related species.
- In addition, the mammal remains quite reclusive, only rarely being seen. Thus, experts have no exact data pertaining to its numbers.
- For this reason, the IUCN currently lists the conservation status of this remarkable animal as Data Deficient, pending further research.
- Fortunately, however, like all marine mammals, it has some protection due to the enactment of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Dwarf Sperm Whale Physical Description
Firstly, it bears noting that the marvelous Dwarf Sperm Whale actually remains smaller in size than many species of dolphins and porpoises.
Also, this species displays no noticeable sexual dimorphism. Mature adults of both genders range in length from 6.6 – 9.0 ft (2 – 2.7 m).
A typical weight among the majority of adults studied actually varies rather significantly, ranging from 300 – 600 lb (136 – 272 kg).
In coloring, it most commonly presents a rather dark gray or blue-gray upper side, with the underside being a much lighter gray in color.
Yet its most unique physical trait remains the presence of a fluid-filled sac, containing a thick, reddish-brown liquid it releases when stressed.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Artiodactyla
- Family: Kogiidae
- Genus: Kogia
- Species: K. sima
Dwarf Sperm Whale Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The exact distribution of the remarkable Dwarf Sperm Whale remains rather difficult to pin down, given its highly reclusive nature.
Yet, the occasional sightings that do occur indicate that the impressive mammal inhabits the majority of tropical and temperate oceans.
Further, the animal, which avoids people and boats, most commonly appears to inhabit the relatively shallow areas near continental shelves.
Its prefered depth remains undetermined, however, as the depths at which it has been seen vary significantly from region to region.
Also, as an open ocean predator, the majority of its prey consisists of small squid, various species of fish, and even the occasional crustacean.