Smiling Sperm Whale

Here is another recent photo I've managed to edit, a close-up portrait of a sperm whale:

sperm whale portrait
Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) smiling in my general direction (License image)

It's an adult female, part of a family of 12 or so individuals that was socialising and foraging for food. You can see in this photo that sperm whales only have teeth on the lower jaws.

Examinations of the stomach contents of dead sperm whales suggest that sperm whales don't chew their food much, which makes sense if you think about how difficult it would be to masticate with only half your teeth.

This observation does beg the question though, of how large, relatively slow whales capture lightning-quick cephalopod prey that clearly prefer...all things being equal...not to end up in cetacean digestive tracts. Hmmmm.