National Geographic

@natgeo 4 months ago
Photo by Paul Nicklen @paulnicklen | A sperm whale soars skyward off the coast of the Dominica. I had never seen a sperm whale breach like this before. Compared to orcas or humpback whales, sperm whales aren't as well known for this kind of aerobatic display, but here you can see that they are capable of great agility. They are the largest toothed predators in the world with the largest brains, and their skeletons are designed to handle the immense pressure of their deep ocean dives. A flexible cartilage connects the spine to the ribs, which means the rib cage collapses under heavy pressure instead of snapping. These whales were historically hunted for their oil and spermaceti, a mixture of fat and waxes found in their heads. Spermaceti was used to make candles and cosmetics, among other things. The outlaw of most whaling worldwide has granted these whales some protection, but they are still considered vulnerable and endangered, and there is more that we can do for them. Follow me @PaulNicklen to learn more about the role the sperm whale plays in its ocean environment, as well as how you can make a difference to their survival with @SeaLegacy and me. #ExtinctionEndsHere #Whale #Biology #Funfacts

Photo by Paul Nicklen @paulnicklen | A sperm whale soars skyward off the coast of the Dominica. I had never seen a sperm whale breach like this before. Compared to orcas or humpback whales, sperm whales aren't as well known for this kind of aerobatic display, but here you can see that they are capable of great agility. They are the largest toothed predators in the world with the largest brains, and their skeletons are designed to handle the immense pressure of their deep ocean dives. A flexible cartilage connects the spine to the ribs, which means the rib cage collapses under heavy pressure instead of snapping. These whales were historically hunted for their oil and spermaceti, a mixture of fat and waxes found in their heads. Spermaceti was used to make candles and cosmetics, among other things. The outlaw of most whaling worldwide has granted these whales some protection, but they are still considered vulnerable and endangered, and there is more that we can do for them. Follow me @PaulNicklen to learn more about the role the sperm whale plays in its ocean environment, as well as how you can make a difference to their survival with @SeaLegacy and me. #ExtinctionEndsHere #Whale #Biology #Funfacts