A Crude Awakening

Infamous as Moby Dick and also known as the cachalot (who was, ironically, caught a lot), is the sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalis. They are the largest of the world’s toothed whales, have the biggest brain in the animal kingdom and can dive to nearly two miles. In short, they are really cool! Life is not so cool right now though for a resident population, numbering around 140, just off the mouth of the Mississippi, where crude oil has been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from a pipe ruptured when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 26th, 2010. As Gulf States prepare for clean up activities on-shore and commence the census of shorebirds, turtles, fish, dolphins, invertebrates and plant communities lost; we consider the sperm whale. Continue reading