Tuesday, May 10, 2022

How Big Is A Sperm Whale Brain

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Can A Human Be Swallowed By A Whale

Sperm Whales have the biggest mammalian brain on Earth

Okay, so whale sharks wont swallow you. They do sometimes swallow prey whole, so you could fit down their esophagus. Sperm whales sometimes swallow squid whole, so it could definitely manage a human. In fact, theres a story of a sailor being swallowed by a sperm whale off the Falkland Islands in the early 1900s.

The Animal With The Biggest Brain

The sperm whale has the largest brain in the world. Incredibly, the sperm whale has a brain that weighs around 18 pounds. This fact is not that hard to believe considering that the sperm whale is the most enormous toothed whale, not to mention the fact that its the biggest toothed predator. The males are usually bigger than the females with an average length of a whopping 52 feet and an average weight of about 45 short tons. Females are slightly smaller with an average length of about 36 feet and an average weight of 15 short tons. Newborns are the smallest with a meager average length of 13 feet with their weights averaging approximately 1.1 short tons.

To put the size of the sperm whales brain into perspective, it is at least five times as large as humans brain. Their brains have a volume of approximately 8,000 cubic centimeters. Despite their large brain size, the sperm whales have a lower encephalization quotient compared to plenty of dolphin and whale species. This low quotient means that the sperm whale is not necessarily the smartest creature on the planet. In terms of relative and absolute size, the whales cerebrum is unmatched in terms of size by any other creature on earth. The reduced olfactory system also translates to a poor sense of smell and taste. However, the auditory system is inflated while the pyramidal tract is not that well developed.

Seven Suitable Sperm Whale Facts

  • Sperm whales have the biggest heads and brains on Earth. Their brains are five times heavier than a humans.
  • The white whale in Moby Dick was based on two real-life sperm whales: a whale that rammed and sank the ship Essex and an albino adult male named Mocha Dick.
  • Sperm whales are named after the spermaceti pulled from their bodies.
  • Sperm whales fertilize the oceans with their feces, which floats upward and is consumed by phytoplankton.
  • Male adult sperm whales very occasionally have been known to attack orcas to compete for food.
  • A sperm whales heart weighs about the same as two average adult male humans .
  • The highest sound pressure level ever recorded from an animal was from a sperm whale off the coast of northern Norway. The single click reached 235 , which is equal to the sound pressure of the Saturn V rocket heard at about one meter distance . This recording proved the the Big Bang hypothesis, which stated that sperm whales could stun or even kill prey with sound.

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Big And Brilliant: Complex Whale Behavior Tied To Brain Size

By Will Dunham

3 Min Read

WASHINGTON – Cetaceans — whales and dolphins — are among the brainiest of beings. In terms of sheer brain size, the sperm whale is tops on Earth, with a brain six times larger than that of a person.

And now, scientists have identified key differences among cetaceans linked to brain size. A study of 90 cetacean species published on Monday found that those with larger brains exhibit greater complexity in social structures and behaviors, with species like the killer whale and sperm whale leading the way.

Dolphin and whale societies are at least as complex as what we have observed in primates, said evolutionary biologist Susanne Shultz of the University of Manchester in Britain.

They are extremely playful, they learn from each other,have complex communication. One problem for understanding justhow smart they are is how difficult it is to observe them and to understand their marine world. Therefore, we have only a glimpse of what they are capable of.The researchers created a comprehensive database of brain size, social structures and cultural behaviors across cetacean species. The group of species with the largest brain size relative to body size was the large whale-like dolphins such as the killer whale, the similar-looking false killer whale and the pilot whale, Shultz said.

Killer whales have cultural food preferences, have matriarchs that lead and teach other group members, and cooperatively hunt, Shultz said.

Sperm Whale Brain And Intelligence

Are whales smart due to their large brain?

Reaching lengths of up to 67 ft. long, the sperm whale is the largest known whale within the toothed whale family. The sperm whale also happens to have the largest brain and cerebrum of any known mammal in existence today. In fact, the sperm whales brain weighs 5 times that of a humans brain!

Although brain size has previously been used to correlate intelligence among various animal species, recent research has shown that brain size does not always equal high intelligence, so the sperm whales brain size cannot be used as the only determining factor of intelligence. However, despite whether or not their brain size has an impact on their intelligence, the cetacean family overall has displayed a high level of intelligence as a species.

For those who arent familiar with cetaceans, the cetacean species includes all whale, dolphin, and porpoise species. Most of what we know about cetacean intelligence has been gathered from research on dolphins. Unfortunately, most whale species are too large in nature to perform similar tests, so intelligence gathering is often limited to observations of large whales and tests performed on smaller cetacean species.

Among the dolphin population, researchers and trainers have performed various tests on their ability to learn comprehensive tasks, problem solves, and respond to various commands.

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Their Total Consumption Of Seafood Is Less Than That Of Humans

Despite their huge appetite and size, the total annual food consumption by sperm whales worldwide is estimated to be about 91 million tonnes for about 300,000-450,000 individuals. In comparison, human consumption of seafood is estimated to be 115 million tonnes for more than 7.8 billion individuals.

Whale Pods And Behavior

Sperm whales are often spotted in groups of some 15 to 20 animals. Pods include females and their young, while males may roam solo or move from group to group. Females and calves remain in tropical or subtropical waters all year long, and apparently practice communal childcare. Males migrate to higher latitudes, alone or in groups, and head back towards the equator to breed. Driven by their tale fluke, approximately 16 feet from tip to tip, they can cruise the oceans at around 23 miles per hour.

These popular leviathans are vocal and emit a series of clangs that may be used for communication or for echolocation. Animals that use echolocation emit sounds that travel underwater until they encounter objects, then bounce back to their sendersrevealing the location, size, and shape of their target.

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Males And Females Vary In Size

“Sperm whales are one of the few whales that have a very significant difference in size between males and females,” says Stewart. Males typically range between 50 and 60 feet long and weigh between 86,000 and 110,000 pounds , while females typically are 26 to 55 feet long and weigh 26,000 to 40,000 pounds .

Fossil Evidence Sheds Light On Why Whales And Dolphins Have Large Brains

LARGEST BRAIN in the animal kingdom – the Sperm Whale (animation)
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    An international team of palaeontologists, led by AMRI and UNSWs Dr Matthew McCurry, shed light on why whales and dolphins have such large brains with the help of baleen whale fossils.

    The reasons why whales and dolphins have evolved large brains which are only rivalled by those seen in primates have long been debated. A new study by a group of international scientists, from Australia, New Zealand, Italy, the UK, the US and Japan, and led by the AMs Dr Matthew McCurry helps answer the hotly debated topic. Their findings have just been published in the prestigious scientific journal, the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.

    Dr Matthew McCurry with a piece of a jaw from one of one of the fossil whales used in the study.

    Cetaceans are renowned as having the largest and one of the most highly developed brains in the animal kingdom for example, the sperm whale has a brain roughly 7-9 kg in size1. Many species also have brains that are relatively large compared to their body size. Despite the amount of scientific research undertaken in this area, the reason why this group evolved large brains remains abstract. One of the most prevalent arguments is tied with echolocation a sense used to navigate environments and hunt prey2. Dolphins and other toothed whales use a series of high-pitched clicking sounds, which are beamed out through their heads and reflected back off objects such as prey.

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    They Attacked And Sunk Ships In History

    In history, sperm whales attacked and some whaler ships. The most well-documented instances are American whaler ships Essex and Ann Alexander .

    Essex was thousands of kilometers away from the nearest shore when it sunk. Survivors used the ships remaining whaleboats to reach the land. But they heavily suffered from hunger and dehydration, and eventually resorted to cannibalism .

    Only 8 survivors were rescued from the 20-man crew.

    Essexs story inspired the American writer Herman Melville to write his famous 1851 novel Moby-Dick.

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    Beluga Able To Imitate The Human Voice

    Another particular case is that of NOC, the male beluga that has managed to imitate human language with complex sounds that induce us to think that it is trying to communicate with us.

    In 1984 scientists from the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego, began to investigate the unusual noises emitted by belugas and dolphins over long distances for their communication. The recordings were similar to those of two people talking at a distance. But in a range of frequencies different from those of the human, without the researchers being able to understand the sounds.

    The scholars speculate with the hypothesis of the mimicry of human sound, the truth is that the argument of imitation is not convincing, but rather the ability to try to communicate spontaneously with human beings.

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    They Have The Biggest Brain In All Animals

    Weighing on average about 7.8 kilograms and with a volume of about 8,000 cm3, the brain of the sperm whale is the largest known of any modern or extinct animal. This is more than three times of an average adult humans brain.

    Their relative brain size is small, though , compared to other mammals like humans , dolphins , dogs , cats , horses , and rats .

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    Baleen whales, which filter tiny shrimp called krill and similar food, have smaller brains relative to their size than pack hunters like dolphins and orcas.

    Blue whales, bowhead whales have small brains. They also seem to move around in loose aggregations, Shultz added.

    They dont have long-term, stable relationships. They dont have lots of complex behaviors.

    Shultz and her colleagues didnt directly study whales, but instead dug up every scientific study they could find on whale and dolphin behavior. They found tons of it.

    Killer whales live in societies of multiple generations and what people have been able to show recently is that older individuals are basically storehouses of information and they pass on this information to younger individuals in times of hardship, Shultz said.

    For instance, they know where to go when the fish disappear from favored hunting grounds.

    And they communicate in very sophisticated ways. Whale songs, for instance, come in dialects.

    Theres good evidence that sperm whales have fads, Shultz said.

    Whats really attractive in one year isnt attractive in another year. It is very much like our culture and our fashion. One population invents a new song and it passes on to other populations.

    Orcas, dolphins and other cetaceans hunt in packs, form alliances, cooperate with other species including humans, babysit one anothers offspring and they eat rich, varied diets.

    And they dont just use those names in greeting.

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    Sperm Whales: Dive Deeper

    Ahoy mateys! In an effort to better discover which resident of the ocean was the most rad sauce looking creature under the sea, we randomly sent a survey to all marine wildlife in the deep blue. After countless replies from cetaceans, sharks, and sardines near and far, we were able to compile all results, and come to a concrete conclusion. Crab-roll please?

    It is one of the oceans most favorite VIPs. Yep, you guessed it! The snazzy Sperm Whale.

    These giant pals may sound familiar to you. You may have recently finished up a bit of light powder room reading of your favorite ocean voyage tale, Moby Dick, or spotted a wrestle between one of these guys and a handsome devil played by an Australian heartthrob on the big screen, but did you know that these whales arent just reserved for a borderline fictional story made for the movies?

    Read on to learn more about amazing sperm whales.

    What Is The Length Weight And Size Of A Sperm Whale

    Sperm Whale grows to be around 50 to 55 ft in length and they weigh around 35 to 45 tons. The largest whales measure up to 67 ft and weigh up to 65 tons. Female sperm whales tend to be smaller compared to the male. This type of whale normally has a unique body, and they could be easily confused with other species of whale.

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    List Of Sperm Whale Strandings

    This list is incomplete you can help by adding missing items.

    Strandings of sperm whales have occurred across much of their global range. About 60 per cent of the world’s recorded sperm whale strandings occur in three regions – Tasmania, New Zealand and the North Sea. 132 strandings of sperm whales were recorded around the coast of the United Kingdom between 1990 and 2011. The list below is in reverse chronological order and is not exhaustive. Possible causes of stranding events are mostly speculative and are not reflected in this list.

  • “Sperm whale dies in Northland”. Newshub. 2018-11-24. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  • ^“Indonesia: dead whale had 1,000 pieces of plastic in stomach”. The Guardian. Associated Press. 2018-11-20. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
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  • “Stranded 18m whale dies in Hawke’s Bay”. Radio New Zealand. 2017-12-30. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  • ^Garis, Christien de Tomlin, Sam . “What do you do with a 45-tonne dead whale?”. ABC News. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
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  • Video, Telegraph . “Stranded sperm whale washes up on Cornwall beach”. The Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
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  • How Does A Blue Whale Hunt Fish

    Blue Whale VS Sperm Whale | Who Would Win

    Blue Whale are having bristle baleen plates that are attached to it and they act as the fence allowing the blue whale to capture prey. They also allow water to move freely in and out of its mouth. Primarily the blue whale consumes krill and many other small ocean creatures like copepods also be ingested. They maintain a steady diet with the high concentrations of krill in the Arctic Ocean.

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    Absolute And Relative Brain Size

    In mammals, there is a range in body volume or weight of about 8 orders of magnitude . The smallest mammal is the Etruscan shrew Suncus etruscus with a body weight of 1.8 g, and the largest mammal and animal is the blue whaleBalaenoptera musculus with a length of 30 m and a body weight up to 180 tons. The largest living terrestrial animal is the African elephant, Loxodonta africana, with a body weight up to 7.5 tons. The volumes or weights of brains likewise vary enormously. Among mammals, the smallest brain is found in the bat, Tylonycteris pachypus, which weighs 74 mg, and the largest brains of all animals are found in the sperm whale and killer whale , with up to 9 kg. The African elephant’s brain weighs up to 6 kg.

    Given these inconsistencies, experts have studied the impact of relative brain size, either uncorrected or corrected for body size. As in all vertebrates, brain size generally increases with body size, but in most cases the relationship between brain size and body size is negatively allometrical, i.e., at a phylogenetic increase in body size the increase in brain size lags behind and, thus, brains become relatively smaller . As a consequence of negative brain allometry, with increasing body weight, relative brain weight decreases from more than 10% in very small mammals like shrews to less than 0.005% in the blue whale. The human brain again ranks relatively high with roughly 2% of body weight, but in close proximity to apes and dolphins.

    How Big Is A Whales Brain

    The main functions of the brainstem include:

    • the transmission of information between the brain and the body
    • the supply of some of the cranial nerves to the face and head
    • and perform critical functions in the control of the heart, breathing, and consciousness.
    • These functions are found in both the animal brain and the human brain.

    If we talk about the size we can clarify that the brains of whales vary in size. Brain size tends to vary according to body size. The brain of the sperm whale is the largest, five times heavier than a humans. The adult sperm whale brain is 8,000 cubic centimeters weighing about 8 kg , while ours is about 1300 cubic centimeters. A human brain can weigh 1.5 kg in adulthood.

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