Underwater with Sri Lanka’s sperm whales – in pictures
A newly identified population in the Indian Ocean is attracting the attention of scientists, conservationists and soon, tourists, too. How will this whale weather the new storm of attention?
Every March, vast numbers of sperm whales gather in the deep waters north-west of Sri Lanka. Andrew Sutton’s photographs are vivid evidence of a little-known population – all the more surprising since sperm whales are the largest active predators on the planet with males reaching nearly 20m (65ft) in length. As natural submarines, they shut down all their organs except for their heart and brain, and using their muscular tails are able to dive for up to a mile, spending up to two hours feeding on squid.