How sperm whales got their name

From: Peter M Scheifele (
Date: Mon Dec 04 2000 - 22:25:05 EST

>How did sperm whales get their names?Also why did they pick sperm?

The unusual shape of the Sperm Whale's head is due to a massive
cushion-like growth on the front of the head known as the spermaceti
organ. It contains a clear, oily liquid called "spermaceti." In early
times spermaceti was believed to be the sperm whale's semen. Today, this
liquid is called "spermaceti" or "whale sperm. The species common name
comes from this. Incidentally, we do not know, to this day, what
significance spermaceti has for the whale!


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