Function of the Spermaceti Organ of the Sperm Whale

  title={Function of the Spermaceti Organ of the Sperm Whale},
  author={Malcolm Roy Clarke},
  • M. Clarke
  • Published 28 November 1970
  • Medicine
  • Nature
THE structure of the head of the sperm whale (Physeter catodon) was described in outline by Pouchet and Beauregard1–3 and by Raven and Gregory4, but the function of the large, wax filled spermaceti organ and related structures is not known although several theories4–6 have been advanced. 
Structure and Proportions of the Spermaceti Organ in the Sperm Whale
The head of the sperm whale ( Physeter macrocephalus L.), which is largely snout and the crest of the skull necessary to support it, may exceed a third of the total weight and a quarter of the length
a Theory for the Function of the Spermaceti Organ of the Sperm Whale (physeter Catodon L)
The function ofThe spermaceti organ of the sperm whale is studied using a model of its acoustic system to allow sound signal production especially useful for long range echolocofion in the deep sea.
Buoyancy Control as a Function of the Spermaceti Organ in the Sperm Whale
Evidence will be presented in support of the hypothesis that the sperm whale can attain neutral buoyancy at depths greater than 200 m by control of the temperature of the spermaceti oil in its head by showing that the whale probably has some control over its own buoyancy.
Architecture of the sperm whale forehead facilitates ramming combat
Results are consistent with the hypothesis that the unique structure of the junk evolved to function as a massive battering ram during male-male competition.
Functional Morphology of the Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) Tongue, with Reference to Suction Feeding
Abstract Gross and microscopic examination of the tongue and hyolingual apparatus of the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) revealed numerous dis-tinct differences from those of other toothed
Possible functions of the ultradense bone in the rostrum of Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris)
The rostrum of Blainville's beaked whale, Mesoplodon densirostris, becomes secondarily ossified, particularly in males, as individuals mature and forms the densest bone currently known.
The nose of the sperm whale: overviews of functional design, structural homologies and evolution
Comparison of nasal structures in sperm whales and other toothed whales reveals that the existing air sac system as well as the fat bodies and the musculature have the same topographical relations and thus may be homologous in all toOThed whales (Odontoceti).
The comparative anatomy of the nasal tract and the function of the spermaceti organ in the Physeteridae (Mammalia, Odontoceti)
The spermaceti organ unique to the Physeteridae forms a part of the functional morphology of the right naris and is not a bilaterally symmetrical structure like the melon of other odontocetes.


The biology of marine mammals