Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Physical Properties of Spermaceti Oil in the Sperm Whale

  • Malcolm R. Clarke (a1)
Abstract

This is the second of three papers describing the structure, properties and buoyancy function of the spermaceti organ of the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus 1758). The first paper (Clarke, 1978a) described the detailed structure and proportions of the spermaceti organ and related structures and considered relevant details of the blubber, skin and lungs. Here, three thermal properties of the spermaceti oil are described which are relevant to a study of the function of the oil. Finally, in a third paper (Clarke, 1978b) it will be shown that, over its great geographical and depth ranges, the whale varies considerably in buoyancy due to variations in water density and the volume of air in its lungs and it is suggested that, during dives, the whale can control its own density by changing the temperature of the spermaceti oil of the head and may attain neutral buoyancy in dives deeper than 200 m.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Beattie J. A., 1934. The apparatus and method used for the measurement of the compressibility of several gases in the range of 0° to 325° C. Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 69, 389405.
Clarke M. R., 1978 a. Structure and proportions of the spermaceti organ of the sperm whale. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 58, 117.
Clarke M. R., 1978 b. Buoyancy, control as a function of the spermaceti organ of the sperm whale. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 58, 2771.
Douslin D. R., Moore R. T., Dawson J. P. & Waddington G., 1958. The pressure-volume-temperature properties of fluorobenzene. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 80, 20312038.
Hales J. L., 1970. An apparatus for accurate measurement of lipid densities over an extended temperature range. Journal of Physics (E: Scientific Instruments), 3, 855861.
Morris R. J., 1975. The lipid structure of the spermaceti organ of the sperm whale (Physeter catodon). Deep-Sea Research, 20, 911916.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 9 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 204 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.