Sperm whales, diving behavior

From: core@coreresearch.org
Date: Wed Jan 22 2003 - 13:15:47 EST

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    How does the sperm whale take the sun with it when it dives to feed?
                         Sincerely, Michael Furnish

    Dear Michael,

    The sperm whale dives to very deep depths, for sure. Obviously they do not
    take the sun with them on their dives - in fact, they do not "see" their
    prey as we think of it in a visual sense. Instead, sperm whales are
    equipped with very sophisticated echolocation abilities, which allows the
    whale to "visualize" their prey utilizing sound waves that are bounced off
    of any object in the water column. Just like bats navigate at night, just
    like a radar can detect boats and buoys, sperm whales have a very similar
    "radar" system in their heads!

    Thank you for your question.

    Sincerely,

    Lisa Foerster
    Director
    Center for Oceanic Research and Education
    www.coreresearch.org

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