Sperm Whale Jaw Size

From: Kim Marshall (kimm@oceanalliance.org)
Date: Mon Feb 10 2003 - 16:21:46 EST

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    Question:
    > I'm needing an answer for a question on the juvenile sperm whale lower jaw
    > bone size (approximately)
    > as follows:
    > Are we talking of dimensions of maybe 24 to 26 inches in overall length with
    > a mandible ?? end area
    > of 4 -5 inches wide?
    > Also, how many teeth would be on the jaw, 18-20 teeth?
    >
    Reply:
    Dear Ron,
    Thank you for your questions. There are approximately 18-25 thick, conical
    teeth in the lower jaw of sperm whales. Scientist, Dr. Jonathan Gordon says
    that the lower jaw is (10 feet or 3m) and is thin. They can open their
    lower jaw to about 90 degrees. The bone is dense and as thick at a man's
    arm.

    I hope this helps you! Thank you.

    Kim

    Kim Marshall
    Executive Director
    Ocean Alliance (Whale Conservation Inst. & the Voyage of the Odyssey)
    191 Weston Road, Lincoln, MA 01773
    781.259.0423 ext. 14 fax 259.0288
    www.oceanalliance.org www.pbs.org/odyssey
    Please support our efforts to conserve whales and their ocean environment
    through research and education :)



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