Subject: sperm whale, name

mike williamson (williams@www1.wheelock.edu)
Tue, 20 May 1997 10:24:12 -0400 (EDT)

How did the sperm whale get it's name?

It is the oil that gave the whale its common name. "Spermaceti" -- later
shortened to "sperm" -- means "seed of the whale," because the mysterious
clear oil in the head was presumed in earlier times to be the seminal
fluid of the whale.

Sincerely,
Lori

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