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Leopard Seal / Gentoo Penguin

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Leopard Seal / Gentoo Penguin

The sperm whale, (Physeter macrocephalus), is the largest toothed cetacean and one of the largest existing marine mammals. They have a distinctive appearance, with a large and robust body, a huge head, and a size that can reach 20 meters in length and weigh up to 50 tons.

The most notable feature of the sperm whale is its head, which takes up about a third of its total length. This massive head contains the organ that gives the animal its name, the spermaceti, a liquid, waxy substance that solidifies in cold conditions. Spermaceti is used by sperm whales for echolocation and buoyancy.

Its lower jaw is equipped with large, conical teeth, which can be up to 25 centimeters long. These teeth are used to catch and hold their prey, mainly giant squid, which make up the majority of their diet. Sperm whales are known to dive to great depths, up to 3,000 meters, in search of their prey.

Despite their size and imposing appearance, sperm whales are social and gregarious animals. They live in groups called "herds" or "pods", which are mainly made up of females and their young, while males tend to live alone or in smaller groups. These groups can include up to 20 individuals, but encounters of hundreds of sperm whales together have also been recorded.

The sperm whale is known for its ability to communicate and for producing characteristic sounds, including clicks, pops, and thumps. These sounds are used for echolocation, navigation, communication between group members, and possibly for display and courtship.

The sperm whale has historically been hunted but, fortunately, it is currently protected and conservation measures have been implemented. Although its global population remains vulnerable, it is believed to be on the rise thanks to conservation efforts and a ban on commercial hunting.

Approximate measurements of the sperm whale:

Scale 1:100 - 120mm
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