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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Sperm Whale Adaptations by Amy Alexander Blubber Spermaceti Organ Body Shape Reduced Appendages Sound Lungs Teeth Skeletal System/Size Physeter macrocephalus 15 METERS Average length of male 11 METERS Average length of female 51.7 TONS Heaviest recorded individual (1) 1 Fontaine, P. (2007). Whales and seals: Biology and ecology. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Pub.2 Frantzis, A., & Alexiadou, P. (2008). Male sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) coda production and coda-type usage depend on the presence of conspecifics and the behavioural context. Canadian Journal Of Zoology, 86(1), 62-75. doi:10.1139/Z07-1143 Huggenberger, S., Andre, M., & Oelschlager, H. (2014). An acoustic valve within the nose of sperm whales Physeter macrocephalus. Mammal Review, 44(2), 81-87.4 Johnson, G., Frantzis, A., Johnson, C., Alexiadou, V., Ridgway, S., & Madsen, P. T. (2010). Evidence that sperm whale ( Physeter macrocephalus) calves suckle through their mouth. Marine Mammal Science, 26(4), 990-996. doi:10.1111/j.1748-7692.2010.00385.x5 Koopman, H. (2007). Phylogenetic, ecological, and ontogenetic factors influencing the biochemical structure of the blubber of odontocetes. Marine Biology, 151(1), 277-291. doi:10.1007/s00227-006-0489-86 Miller, P. O., Kvadsheim, P. H., Lam, F. A., Wensveen, P. J., Antunes, R., Alves, A. C., & ... Sivle, L. D. (2012). The Severity of Behavioral Changes Observed During Experimental Exposures of Killer (Orcinus orca), Long-Finned Pilot (Globicephala melas), and Sperm (Physeter macrocephalus) Whales to Naval Sonar. Aquatic Mammals, 38(4), 362-401. doi:10.1578/AM.38.4.2012.3627 Morris, R. J. (1975). Further studies into the lipid structure of the spermaceti organ of the sperm whale (Physeter catodon). Deep-Sea Research And Oceanographic Abstracts, 22483-489. doi:10.1016/0011-7471(75)90021-28 Piscitelli, M., Raverty, S., Lillie, M., & Shadwick, R. (2013). A Review of Cetacean Lung Morphology and Mechanics. Journal Of Morphology, 274(12), 1425-1440.9 Schulz, T. M., Whitehead, H., Gero, S., & Rendell, L. (2011). Individual vocal production in a sperm whale ( Physeter macrocephalus) social unit. Marine Mammal Science, 27(1), 149-166. doi:10.1111/j.1748-7692.2010.00399.x10 Watwood, S. L., Patrick J. O., M., Johnson, M., Madsen, P. T., & Tyack, P. L. (2006). Deep-Diving Foraging Behaviour of Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus). Journal of Animal Ecology, (3). 814. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2006.01101.x. Sound is produced in respiratory passages called the perinasal sacs. Clicks areemitted and a series of clicks is a coda.Valves of membrane folds and musclehelps produce the sound. Biosonar originatesat the nasal meatus, and after a mechanicalprocess, sound transmits through the melon.Echolocation assists with foraging.Whales are sensitive to underwatersounds. (1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 10) Whales are hydrodynamic, whichmeans that they have less dragor resistance in the water. Inturn, they do not have to utilizeas much energy.(1) Fully aquatic mammals cangrow larger compared totheir land counterparts. Sincewater provides buoyancy,fully aquatic mammals cangrow to great sizes withouttheir skeletal systems havingto support their full weight. A larger size means less predators and a lower surfacearea to volume ratio for heatretention.(1) A thick, fatty layer under thedermis, called the hypodermis,insulates to reduce heat loss,helps streamline the body,and provides buoyancy.(1, 5) Reduced appendages helpto decrease surface area (todiminish heat loss) and alsoact to reduce drag in thewater. (1) Sperm whales are classifiedas Odontoceti, a suborderof the order Cetacea. Odontoceti have teeth.Sperm whales use theirteeth when eating fish,giant squid, and otherprey. (1) To nurse a calf,the mother voluntarilyejects milk, which thecalf ingests. Thoughsimilar to land mammals,there is added difficultyof holding its breath.(4). Nursing It is thought that thespermaceti organ assistswith buoyancy regulation duringdeep dives. The lipids in thespermaceti organ are thoughtto undergo a phase change duringdeep dives from solid to liquid. Ithas also been suggested thatthe spermaceti organ actsas a type of acoustic lens. (7) References
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