SPERMWHALE – PHYSETER MACROCEPHALUS

The Sperm Whale is probably one of the Canary Islands’ resident species. However, the population which used to be seen between Gran Canaria and the North of Tenerife seems to have moved and are now being sighted more often off Lanzarote. They are easily recognizable and distinguishable from other whales due to their huge, cube-shaped head, and their peculiar blow, which is only 2m high, but inclined towards the front and the left. Their dorsal fin is just a small hump.

The males with their 15m and 45t are much larger and heavier than the females (11m and 20t). They become sexually mature at the age of 7 – 13 years, and after a gestation time of 16 months they give births to a calf measuring between 3.5- 4.5m and weighing 1t. The maximum diving interval is up to 2 hours, and Sperm Whales can dive down as deep as 2000 m. However, their usual prey, calamari, squid and small fish, seems to be caught at an average depth of 300-600m.