[MARINE_BIOLOGY_INTERNATIONAL] Sperm whales entertain whale watchers


(San Francisco Chronicle)

14 sperm whales entertain tourists on boat trip
Thursday, March 10, 2011
(03-10) 16:34 PST Long Beach, Calif. (AP) --

An Aquarium of the Pacific marine biologist says a group of tourists and experts on a whale watching trip got a once-in-a-lifetime, half-hour treat when they encountered 14 sperm whales hanging out in the ocean between Long Beach and Catalina Island.

Dave Bader says there are only 2,200 sperm whales in U.S. waters off the Pacific.

He believes the whales seen Wednesday were females and their young or immature males. Males grow to 60 feet and females to 35 feet.

Sperm whales eat squid on the ocean floor, surface only briefly and usually individually.

Bader was not on the trip but has heard the stories, seen the photos and watched the video taken by colleagues on the trip, hosted by the aquarium and Harbor Breeze Cruises.

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