Sperm whale

Sperm whale

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus). The marks on its head are areas of skin shedding that help eliminate parasites. This toothed whale is found in oceans worldwide. The male reaches an average of 16 metres in length, and can weigh over 45 tons. A sperm whale can live for over 70 years. It is a social animal, living in groups of around a dozen individuals. It feeds on squid, octopus and fish, diving for over an hour to depths of 300 to 800 metres, sometimes as deep as 1-2 kilometres. Photographed off Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean.

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Keywords: 1, 2011, animal, biological, biology, close-up, detail, eye, fauna, head, indian ocean, mammal, marine biology, mauritius, nature, ocean, one, pelagic, physeter catodon, physeter macrocephalus, sea, shed skin, single, skin shedding, sperm whale, swimming, under water, underwater, whale, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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