Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Short Communications

Cephalopod Species in the Diet of a Sperm Whale (Physeter Catodon) Stranded at Penzance, Cornwall

M.R. Clarkea1 and P.L. Pascoea2

a1 Ancarva, Southdown, Millbrook, Cornwall, PL101EZ

a2 Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Citadel Hill, Plymouth, PL1 2PB

Stomach contents from an adult male sperm whale (Physeter catodori) stranded at Penzance, Cornwall, included a total of 125 upper and 110 lower beaks (mandibles) of cephalopods. All but two of the cephalopod species represented by lower beaks were oceanic squid belonging to four species in four families comprising: Histioteuthis spp. (44·5% by number and 10·7% by estimated wet weight); Architeuthis spp. (42·7% by number, 82·2% by weight); Todarodes sagittatus (7·3% by number, 6·0% by weight); Galiteuthis sp. (0·9% by number, 0·02% by weight); an oceanic octopod, Haliphron atlanticus (3·6% by number, 0·9% by weight) and one neritic species, Loligoforbesi (0·9% by number and 0·1% by weight). Mantle lengths of the squid were estimated to vary from 126 to 1056 mm.