Azores Adventures – Futurismo

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Dwarf and pygmy sperm whales

Kogia sima | Kogia breviceps

Dwarf sperm whales (Kogia sima) (pictured above) and pygmy sperm whales (kogia breviceps) are the only two species that belong to the Dogiidae family (also known as small sperm whales).  The dwarf sperm whales is the smallest species classified as a whale, even smaller than some dolphin species.  Relatively little is known about dwarm and pygmy sperm whales, as they have not often been sighted at the surface (most information comes from stranded individuals) and they are extremely rare to see in the Azores (strandings indicate that they can potentially be sighted in the Azores). The two species are very difficult to distinguish from each other. The dwarf sperm whale is smaller and has a more pointed head and flatter back, whereas the slightly larger pygmy sperm whale has a more blunt head and a slightly rounded back. Both species have a single blowhole that is set slightly left off center (just like the sperm whale). At the surface they usually travel slowly in groups of fewer than 10  individuals and they do not seem to approach boats. If they are startled they may release a cloud of reddish-brown intestinal fluid. Dwarf and pygmy sperm whales are thought to be distributed in deep waters throughout tropical and temperate zones where they may dive up to 300 m and feed on squid, crustaceans, fish and sometimes even small sharks

 Dwarf sperm whale:


  • Male: 2.5 m
  • Female: 2.7 m
  • Calf:  1 m


  • Male: 272 kg


Global population: Unknown (population trend unknown)
Status: Data Deficient
Diet: Squid, fish, crustaceans

14 – 26 in the lower jaw

0 – 3 in the upper jaw

Longevity: Unknown
Breeding age: Unknown
Gestation: Unknown
Nursing: Unknown

Dwarf sperm whale in other languages

Portuguese:  Cachalote-anão
Spanish: Cachalote enano
French: Cachalot nain
Italian: Cogia di Owen
German: Kleiner pottwal
Dutch: Kleinste potvis
Swedish: Dvärgkaskelot
Norwegian: –
Finnish: Pikkukaskelotti
Polish: Kaszalot płaskonosy, kaszalot karłowaty


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