Subject: Mating in sperm whales

Jennifer D. Philips (jphilips@soest.hawaii.edu)
Wed, 29 Apr 1998 19:50:51 -1000

>I'm working on a Bio project on sperm whales.  I was wondering if there
>is any way you could send or write me information on the mating
>rituals.  I have to make a video about it, I would appreciate it!  I
>also need any extra information you have available about the sperm
>whales.  Thankyou.
>							-Desiree Kniker-
>


Desiree - 

You have to make a video about sperm whales?  You might try to find some
video footage available on the web.  I'm sure some footage is probably out
there somewhere.  In answer to your question about the mating rituals of
sperm whales, sperm whales are pretty typical 'whales' when it comes to
mating.  Courtship takes the form of chases, simultaneous surfacing and
breaching, and flipper contact.  Fights can also appear to break out, often
between two males in competition for a female.  The mating system of sperms
whales is pretty interesting too:  pods of sperm whales near temperate and
tropical latitudes are made up of adult females, their calves, and juveline
whales of either sex.  Adult males that have reached breeding age leave the
main pods and travel alone to lower latitudes nearer the poles.  They only
return to the main pods to breed.  

I found a cool web site you might take a look at.  It contains some stills
of computer generated graphics of a sperm whale eating a giant squid:
http://ncca.bournemouth.ac.uk/Staff/Vassili/sperm_whale.html

I hope this answers your question!

Aloha - 

Jen


__________________________________

Jennifer D. Philips		
jphilips@soest.hawaii.edu

Marine Mammal Research Program
HIMB, University of Hawaii at Manoa
PO Box 1106			
Kailua, HI  96734
voice:  (808) 247-5063
fax: (808) 247-5831
__________________________________