SPERM WHALE
(Physeter macrocephalus)
BODY MASS: 50 tons 1 DEEPEST DIVE: 2035 m (REF 4)
BODY SIZE: 1600-1800 cm 1 LONGEST DIVE: 4380 s (REF 4) 2


ISLA TORTUGA (27°26'N - 111°52'W) TOP
2004: Dive depth: avg= 418 ± 216 m (N= 5 whales)
2004: Dive duration: avg= 27 ± 9.1 min (N= 5 whales)
2004: (satellite-linked dive recorder SDR-T16, Wildlife Computers, Res. 4m)
REF 1
GALAPAGOS ISLANDS (0° - 90°W) TOP
1985: Dive depth: avg= 382 m, max= 420 m (N= 67? whales)
1987: Dive depth: avg= 314 m (N= 67? whales)
1987: (Dev-Tec directional hydrophone for acoustic direction onboard sloops)
REF 2
GULF OF MEXICO (25-29°N - 87-89°W) TOP
2000-03: Dive depth: avg-max= 643.6 ± 123.4m (N= 20 whales)
2000-03: Dive duration: avg= 45.5 ± 7.4 min (N= 20 whales)
2000-03: (Dtag, acoustic & depth recorders, sampling= 16,32,96kHz + suction cups)
REF 3
ATLANTIC OCEAN (35-41°N - 68-73°W) TOP
2003: Dive depth: avg-max= 985.2 ± 124.3m, max= 1202m (N= 6 whales)
2003: Dive duration: avg= 45.7 ± 5.6 min, max= 3840 s (N= 6 whales)
2003: (Dtag, acoustic & depth recorders, sampling= 96 kHz + suction cups)
REF 3
DOMINICA ISLAND (15°18'N - 61°23'W) TOP
1991: Dive depth: gd-avg= 610.7 ± 215m, max= 2035m (N= 2 males)
1991: Dive duration: gd-avg= 36.3 ± 10.1 min, max= 4380 s (N= 2 males)
1991: (Sonar tag, Datasonics, response= 7ms, sampling= 1-5 min then <8s)
REF 4
1995: Day dive depth: avg= 1030 ± 165m, max= 1330m (N= 1 male)
1995: Day dive duration: avg= 44.9 ± 11.9 min, max= 3870 s (N= 1 male)
1995: Night dive depth: avg= 960 ± 113m, max= 1130m (N= 1 male)
1995: Day dive duration: avg= 43.8 ± 11 min, max= 3918 s (N= 1 male)
1991: (long-range radio tags with time depth telemetry (30 MHz), Res. 11m)
REF 5
LIGURIAN SEA (38-43°N - 6-8°E) TOP
2000-03: Dive depth: avg-max= 827 ± 61.8m (N= 11 whales)
2000-03: Dive duration: avg= 44.2 ± 4.7 min (N= 11 whales)
2000-03: (Dtag, acoustic & depth recorders, sampling= 16,32,96kHz + suction cups)
REF 3
NORTHERN NORWAY (69°25'N - 15°45'E) TOP
2000: Dive depth: avg-max= 906 ± 447m, max= 1494m (N= 5 whales)
2000: Dive duration: avg= 22.6 ± 12.6min, max= 2160 s (N= 5 whales)
2000: (acoustic localization using hydrophone array of GPS-linked units)
2000: (Note the poor accuracy: ca. 68 m horizontally & ca. 159 m vertically)
REF 6
OFFSHORE DURBAN (29-30°S - 31-32°E) TOP
1969: Dive duration (less probable): max= 3180 and 6720 s (N= 2 whales)
1969: Dive duration (more probable): max= 4980 and 4920 s (N= 2 whales)
1969: (Observation from a whale spotter plane)
REF 7
KUMANO COAST (33-34°N - 136°E) TOP
2000: Dive depth: avg= 801.1 ± 264.9m, max= 1192m (N= 1 female)
2000: Dive duration: avg= 36.2 ± 5.9min, max= 2412s (N= 1 female)
2000: (Mk6, Wildlife Computers, 400g, Res. ± 8m, sampling= 1 s)+(8cm suction cup)
REF 8
1985: Dive depth: avg= 30 m, max= 60 m (N= 20 males)
1985: Dive duration: avg= 10 min, max= 1380 s (N= 20 males)
1985: (Nightime sounding with a 20kHz sonar onboard whaler 1000m from whales)
REF 9
OFF INUBOHZAKI COAST (35°46'N - 141°17'E) TOP
1987: Dive depth: avg= 40 m, max= 110 m (N= 25 males)
1987: Dive duration: avg= 8 min, max= 1140 s (N= 25 males)
1987: (Nightime sounding with a 20kHz sonar onboard whaler 1000m from whales)
REF 9
OFF OHFUNATO COAST (38-39°N - 142-144°E) TOP
1987: Dive depth: avg= 162 m, max= 730 m (N= 8 males)
1987: Dive duration: avg= 111 min, max= 2820 s (N= 8 males)
1987: (Nightime sounding with a 20kHz sonar onboard whaler 1000m from whales)
REF 9
OFF SANRIKU COAST (39-40°N - 144-146°E) TOP
1987: Dive depth: avg= 38 m, max= 80 m (N= 13 males)
1987: Dive duration: avg= 10 min, max= 1560 s (N= 13 males)
1987: (Nightime sounding with a 20kHz sonar onboard whaler 1000m from whales)
REF 9
OFF HACHIJOH ISALND (33°04'N - 138°58'E) TOP
1984: Dive depth: avg= 118 m, max= 203 m (N= 15 whales)
1984: Dive duration: avg= 22 min, max= 3660 s (N= 15 whales)
1984: (Nightime sounding with a 20kHz sonar onboard whaler 1000m from whales)
REF 9
NORTH PACIFIC (UNDEFINED) TOP
1979: Dive depth: avg= 196 m, max= 561 m (N= 1 male)
1979: Dive duration: avg= 11 min, max= 1080 s (N= 1 male)
1979: (Daytime sounding with a 20kHz sonar onboard whaler chasing a whale)
REF 9
OFFSHORE KAIKOURA (173°30-50'N - 42°20-40'E) TOP
1990-98: Dive duration: avg= 41.3 min, max= 3840 s (N= 39 whales)
1990-98: (Observation from a boat during survey)
REF 10

REFERENCES
REF 1 Davis RW, Jaquet N, Gendron D, Markaida U, Bazzino G, Gilly W (2007) Diving behavior of sperm whales in relation to behavior of a major prey species, the jumbo squid, in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Marine Ecology Progress Series 333: 291302
REF 2 Papastavrou V, Smith SC, Whitehead H (1989) Diving behaviour of the sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus, off the Galapagos Islands. Canadian Journal of Zoology 67: 839-846
REF 3 Watwood SL, Miller PJ, Johnson M, Madsen PT, Tyack PL (2006) Deep-diving foraging behaviour of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus). Journal of Animal Ecology 75: 814-825
REF 4 Watkins WA, Daher M-A, Fristrup KM, Howald TJ, Notarbatolo Di Sciara G (1993) Sperm whales tagged with transponders and tracked underwater by sonar. Marine Mammal Science 9: 55-67
REF 5 Watkins WA, Daher MA, DiMarzio NA, Samuels A, Wartzok D, Fritstrup KM, Howey PW, Maiefski RR (2002) Sperm Whale dives tracked by radio tag telemetry. Marine Mammal Science 18: 55-68
REF 6 Wahlberg M (2002) The acoustic behaviour of diving sperm whales observed with a hydrophone array. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 281: 53-62
REF 7 Clarke M (1976) Observation on Sperm whale diving. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 56: 809-810
REF 8 Amano M, Yoshioka M (2003) Sperm whale diving behavior monitored using a suction-cupattached TDR tag. Marine Ecology Progress Series 258: 291-295
REF 9 Mano S (1990) Analysis of Diving Behaviour of Sperm Whale Physeter catodon. Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi 56: 179-18
REF 10 Jaquet N, Dawson S, Slooten E (2000) Seasonal distribution and diving behaviour of male sperm whales off Kaikoura: foraging implications. Canadian Journal of Zoology 78: 407-419

1 Females: 25 tons / 1200-1400 cm (the most dimorphic species).

2 Clarke (1976) found a maximum diving duration of 6720 s by observing whales from a whale spotter plane but acknowledged in the article a risk that a surfacing by the whale may have been missed. He thus proposed a more probable maximum diving duration of 4920 s. Here, we present an overall maximum value (Watkins et al. 1993) which has been measured by instruments as the most reliable estimation of the maximum diving ability of the sperm whale.

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