Life of Sea | Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima) | Pygmy sperm whale is one of the three species in the whale family. They are often not observed at sea. It prefers deep water, but along the coast than the pygmy sperm. Its favorite habitat seems just beyond the continental shelf. Pygmy sperm whale lives mainly on the continental shelf and slope tropical and temperate coasts of all oceans. In
the Atlantic, strandings have been observed in Virginia, in the western
United States and Spain, United Kingdom in the east, and as far south
as southern Brazil and the tip of Africa. In
the Indian Ocean, are specimens found on the south coast of Australia
and in many places along the north coast of the Indian Ocean - Right
Round from South Africa to Indonesia. In the Pacific area, the range consists of the Japanese coast and British Columbia.
Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Cetacea Family: Kogiidae Genus: Kogia Species: K. sima
Dwarf sperm whale is the smallest species commonly known as a whale. It is superficially porpoise-like in shape of the body, and tough, with a distinctive underslung jaw, not unlike sharks. They have the shortest rostrum in cetaceans and the skull is highly asymmetrical. The species is slow, deliberate movements with little splash or blow and when it usually lies motionless on the sea surface. Therefore it is usually only seen in very calm sea. Like other whales, the pygmy sperm whale has a spermaceti organ in its forehead. Like the pygmy, the dwarf is able to expel a dark red substance when frightened or attacked might postpone any predators.
The pygmy sperm whale is similar in appearance and behavior to the nephew of the Pygmy Sperm Whale. Identification can be almost impossible at sea - however, the Dwarf is slightly smaller and has a larger dorsal fin. The body is mostly bluish gray with a lighter underside with a slightly yellow vein-like streaks may be visible. There is a white false gill behind each eye. The fins are very short and broad. The top of the snout overhangs the lower jaw, which is small. Dwarfs have long, curved and sharp teeth. Pygmy sperm whales are usually solitary, but are occasionally seen in small groups. They feed mainly on squid and crab.
Pygmy sperm whale is an inconspicuous animals and generally live a long way from the coast. If the smallest of the whales and even smaller than some dolphins, it is seldom seen at sea, except in very calm conditions. It lives at or near the edge of the shelf. Group sizes are generally small, usually less than about six persons. This species is typically shy and undemonstrative when observed at sea. They generally do not lift their tail when they dive. They are often difficult to approach, and can slowly sink below the surface or arch their back to a dive start.
Pygmy sperm whales seem particularly deep water feeding on cephalopods, but other prey. They may also be a part of their feeding in the vicinity of the seabed. Pygmy sperm whale was actively hunted by commercial whalers. Occasionally harpoon kills are still made by the Indonesian and Japanese fishermen. Because the dwarf is the coast than the pygmy, it may be more vulnerable to human activities such as fishing and pollution. There are insufficient data exist on whether such activities are a threat to species survival.