Further names: Portuguese: Cachalote-anão
Size of adults: up to 2,7 m
Prey: Cephalopods, fish and crustaceans (shrimps and crabs).
Behaviour: Very timid animals so little is known about their social life. When encountered they are either alone or in small groups of up to ten animals. Lethargic movement with a tendency to simply drift motionless at the surface. Sometimes animals allow slow approach of boats. When diving they sink down like a stone, without raising their flukes.
Range: Tropical and temperate waters worldwide usually at continental shelves. No evidence on migration.
Madeira: Very rarely sighted
Distinctive features: superficial resemblance with sharks; head with very little underslung lower jaw and “false gill” (a light bracket-shaped marking between the eye and flipper), pointed, falcate dorsal fin.
Taxonomy: Suborder: Odontoceti (Toothed whales); Superfamily Physeteroidea (Sperm whales); Family: Kogiidae
Threats: Climate change, marine waste, increasing underwater noise level. Insufficient data on population levels.