Subject: Sperm Whale: jawless sperm whale (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Mon, 24 Nov 1997 11:32:02 -0500 (EST)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 11:49:26 +0000
From: Gisli Vikingsson <>
Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Subject: jawless sperm whale

Has anybody heard of a jawless sperm whale?

Few days ago a 12.3m male sperm whale stranded on the NW coast of
Iceland, which is not so unusual. The animal was, however malformed in
a peculiar way, it had no lower jaw. It had only a small protrusion, perhaps
20-30cm long below the opening of the mouth, and the pigmentation
pattern was continous with the surrounding area. If the animal was not
born like this, the jaw was broken off a long time ago. There were no
"tooth holes" in the gum of the upper jaw. Further examinations and
dissection of the animal will take place tomorrow (25 Nov.).

I would appreciate very much to hear of any similar observations on
sperm whales or other toothed whales. Please send your responses
directly to me to avoid unnecessary postings to all marmammers.

All the best

Gisli A. Vikingsson                              Internet:
Hafrannsoknastofnunin                            Telephone:   +354 552 0240
(Marine Research Institute                       Fax:         +354 562 3790
Skulagotu 4, Reykjavik, Iceland                  Home phone:  +354 551 8407