Subject: sperm whale movement

Leah Gerber (leah@fish.washington.edu)
Fri, 27 Mar 1998 11:23:49 -0800

At 07:48 PM 3/23/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Leah
>How fast does a sperm whale swim? Also how much do they weigh? I am  a
fourth grader researching the sperm whale for a report.
>Thank You for your help. 
>Laura
>Age 10 
>

Dear Laura,

How fast does a sperm whale swim?  Most whales swim between 4-6 knots with
bursts of speeds to catch food or mates that may be twice that. Sperm
whales probably fall in that range when traveling. Often sperm whales spend
days in one general location diving for food. When they are on the surface
they often just lay in one spot, resting and breathing and preparing for
their next dive. Sperm whales move so slowly at this time they were often
hunted from rowing boats.

As a general rule whales weigh approximately one ton per foot. So a 60 foot
male sperm whale might weigh 60 tons. Its important to remember that in the
water the whale weighs nothing.

Leah