Sperm Whale

  • Galapagos Wildlife: Sperm Whales © Gabriel Barathieu

    Sperm Whales © Gabriel Barathieu

  • Galapagos Wildlife: Sperm Whale

    Galapagos Wildlife: Sperm Whale

Species Data

Common Name Sperm whale
Scientific Name Physeter macrocephalus
Spanish Name Cachalote
Conservation Status

Galapagos Graphics: IUCN Red List Vulnerable © Dan Wright




Size 15 to 18 m length
Average Lifespan Over 70 years
Predators Orcas/killer whales
Food Piscivore (squid and fish)
Animal Class Mammal

Species Overview

Sperm whales are the largest toothed whales and largest toothed predators in the world. Often spotted in groups called pods of between 15-20 whales including females and their young. Whilst the males roam alone or move between groups. They eat about a tonne of fish and squid a day, and are known to dive up to a 1,000 m in search of food to eat, holding their breaths for up to 90 minutes on such dives. They were hunted around the world including the waters around Galapagos in the 17th to 19th century.

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