Black and white illustration of a sperm whale on a white background.
Sperm whales are easily identified by their enormous heads, which make up approximately 1/3 of the whale’s body. With an average length of 52 feet and average weight of 40 tons, these giants of the ocean are larger than the average school bus and consume about one ton of fish and squid per day. Though still an endangered species, the sperm whale population is growing due to stricter regulations in the whaling industry. Arguably the most famous sperm whale in popular culture is the mythical albino nemesis of Captain Ahab in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick; Melville’s leviathan was actually based on a real sperm whale that attacked the whaling ship Essex in 1820.