Sperm whales outnumbered 19th-century whales by sharing evasive devices

Capturing a sperm whale it was much more difficult during the 19th century than even Moby Dick showed it was. That’s because sperm whales only had the best ways to clear the whales ’vessels, they could quickly share this information with other whales as well, according to a study of records whaling.

By analyzing new digital diaries kept with whales while traveling in the North Pacific, the researchers found that hunters’ strike rates had reduced their targets 58% in a few years. And it wasn’t because the whales had gotten worse when they came on the harps – the mammals had learned from the deadly events of their whales with humans, and they were not going to repeat them, the researchers explained.