Drawing by Graham Sanders
The snout of the Dwarf Sperm Whale is more pointed than that of the Pygmy Sperm Whale and its dorsal fin is larger and set nearer to the middle of the back. It is the smallest whale, reaching less than 3m and about 300kg making it similar in size or smaller than a dolphin. They can occur in groups of up to ten
Dwarf Sperm Whales are an oceanic species which occur worldwide. They prefer warmer waters than the Pygmy Sperm Whale. They reach sexual maturity when around 2m in length and can live up to 22 years. Calves may be born yearly and are weaned at about 1.3m in length.
They are occasionally found stranded in Tasmania as well as South Australia, New South Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Although considered an oceanic species it approaches the coast more often than the Pygmy Sperm Whale. In Australian waters sightings are rare and they are less likely to strand than the Pygmy Sperm Whale.