publication . Article . 2004

Social structure and mating system of sperm whales off northern Chile

Hal Whitehead; Amanda Coakes;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Aug 2004 Journal: Canadian Journal of Zoology, volume 82, pages 1,360-1,369 (issn: 0008-4301, eissn: 1480-3283, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: Canadian Science Publishing
Abstract
We studied the social structure and mating system of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus L., 1758) off northern Chile over 10 months in 2000, photographically identifying 898 individuals. The mean size of encountered groups of females with immatures was about 23 animals, while the estimated mean size of units (sets of females and immatures with permanent relationships) was 11 animals. About 4% of the population consisted of large mature males, although this varied seasonally. Groups of females and immatures, as well as large males, spent only a matter of days within the study area at a time. There was no evidence for preferred ranges for the males, for males co...
Subjects
free text keywords: Animal Science and Zoology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Sexual behavior, Mating system, Population, education.field_of_study, education, Pacific ocean, Repartition, Zoology, Biology, Sperm, Relative species abundance
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