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Review of sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) strandings around the North Sea
Smeenk, C.; Evans, P.G.H. (2018). Review of sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) strandings around the North Sea, in: North Sea Cetacean Special. Lutra (Leiden), 61(1): pp. 29-70
In: (2018). North Sea Cetacean Special. Lutra (Leiden), 61(1). Zoogdiervereniging VZZ: Raalte. 214 pp., more
In: Rijksmuseum voor Natuurlijke Historie Lutra (Leiden). Brill: Leiden. ISSN 0024-7634, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    16th century
    17th century
    North Sea
    Cetacea [WoRMS]; Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]

Authors  Top 
  • Smeenk, C.
  • Evans, P.G.H.

    Young adult male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) undergo extensive nomadic movements to high latitudes. Although an oceanic species favouring deep waters, on occasions they enter the North Sea from the eastern North Atlantic. In the central and southern sectors they invariably strand on the shores of northern Europe. Although recorded in the region in all months of the year, most strandings occur between November and March. Records of sperm whale strandings along North Sea coasts from the thirteenth century to the present aredocumented with details of date, location, numbers of individuals and their lengths where known, and a list of published sources. Although historical estimates of lengths are likely to have been inaccurate, there is some evidence that the larger (16m or greater), more mature, individuals recorded in earlier times have become scarce in the region since the mid 1980s.

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