Author Archive

Tursiops

Tursiops truncatus is the scientific name for the common bottlenose dolphin. Tursiops is also the user name shared by volunteers who contribute to this blog. If you have an idea for a blog post, or think we should comment on an article you've found, click the contact button above and drop us a line!

Tale of Two Teeth answer

Written by Tursiops. Posted in Uncategorized

Answer: Sperm whales are extremely sexually dimorphic – males grow much larger than females.

At 33.5’, a female sperm whale is near her full adult size, an old whale.

At 33.5’, a male sperm whale is a youngster, only approximately half his full size.

Therefore, the smaller tooth was from the male.  The female had the larger tooth because she was much older.  The photos below show the 2 whales from which the two teeth were taken.

tale teeth sperm whales

Tale of Two Teeth quiz

Written by Tursiops. Posted in Cetacean Studies

Here’s a quiz:  The two teeth in the picture below are from two different 33.5’ sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) that stranded in North Carolina.  Both teeth are a #10 (10th from the front) tooth from the lower jaw.  Why do you think there’s such a size difference between the Pm 33.5 teeth M&Ftwo teeth?  Check back tomorrow for a hint.