Elongated sack of connective tissue containing the spermaceti on top of the head of the sperm whales .
Its function is a matter of debate, but it may be used to control the whale's buoyancy in the water and possibly as an acoustic lens to direct sound beams for echolocation .
The organ contains a mass of weblike pipes filled with a yellowy wax . It can be cooled or heated, possibly by water being sucked in through the blowhole, and thus shrinks and increases in density (helping it to sink) or expands and decreases in density (lifting it back up to the surface) .
It may act as a buffer, enabling it to withstand high pressures to which it is subjected when it dives to depths of more than 3,000 m .
- ^ a b Joel C. Sáenz, Grace Wong, Eduardo Carrillo, Alina Suárez, Fernando Zeledón, Laura May Collado, Miguel Iñíguez (2004). Ballenas y delfines de América Central / Whales and Dolphins of Central America. Editorial INBio. ISBN 9968702927.
- ^ a b c Carwardine, Mark; Illustrated by Camm, Martin (2002). Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. Dorling Kindersley Limited. ISBN 0789489902. Cite uses deprecated parameter
|This article is part of Project Glossary, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each term related to animals.|
|This article is part of Project Mammal Anatomy, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each anatomical term related to mammals.|