|Other Names||Bradley's Whale, Breach Whale|
The horn whale is a relative of both seals and whales. It has a blunt head, two sets of pectoral flippers and a powerful tail. Its thick hide is gray (darker gray on the males and lighter gray on the females). The males also have heavy armor plating on the heads with stubby, spike like protrusions. Males are larger than females. A full grown male can grow to be fifteen feet long and weigh several tons.
Horn whales use the armor plating and spikes of their hide as battering rams. They will rush opponents (whether its another breach whale or a ship) and ram the target at full speed. A full grown male can put three to four tons into a single hit. This is enough to buckle the hull of a small ship and several such hits could conceivably put a leak in a large ship.
For unknown reasons, bucks of this species are aggressive towards ships. Usually, males will wander the seas alone. If a male comes upon a ship, it will sometimes follow the ship for days. On occasion, the horn whale will attack the ship with no provocation. For large ships, this is a minor annoyance, but it can pose a serious threat to smaller vessels.
Horn whales are only encountered at deep sea. They live their whole lives in the deepest part of the oceans, never venturing near land. They are only ever seen by mariners and fishermen.
Breach whales eat krill, fish, octopi, squid and other marine animals. Their typical feeding style is to rush a school of fish or shrimp with their gaping maw open and simply scoop thousands of animals in with a single pass.
Once each year, horn whales will congregate in one particular area in the deep ocean. This is the spawning grounds and the horn whales will come by the hundred. Here, the males and females will court each other. Males will fight (ramming their armored heads together in a great plume of water) for the right to mate. Any ship in the area would best avoid such a gathering lest the males mistake the ship for a rival and batter it to pieces. Coincidentally, horn whales yield to each other by diving (which would be difficult for a ship to do).
Horn whale oil is a thin, light amber colored oil. It is very slippery and extremely flammable. It makes excellent lantern oil and candles, however, it has a strong fish odor. Horn whales are hunted for both their oil and meat by several cultures.
This website was last updated November 30, 2016 . Copyright 1990-2016 David M. Roomes.