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Sperm Whale
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Physeter Macrocephalus
Information
Range Global Oceans
Estimated Population Vulnerable
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Cetacea
Family Physeteridae
Genus Physeter
Linnaeus, 1758
Species • P. macrocephalus
Conservation Status
(IUCN 3.1)
VUSpecies
Vulnerable

In the past, whalers hunted sperm whales for spermaceti, fine oil used to make high-quality candles and lubricants. Estimates vary widely regarding the present population of sperm whales. The American Cetacean Society states, "Most recent estimates suggest a global population of 300,000 animals, down from about 1,100,000 before whaling."

The sperm whale population is slow to recover because these animals mature late and have few offspring. Sperm whales are listed on the U.S. Endangered Species List. Hunting of sperm whales is banned nearly worldwide.


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Conservation Status Critically EndangeredEndangeredNear ThreatenedVulnerableLeast ConcernData DeficientNot Evaluated

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