Sperm Whales In 19th Century Shared Ship Attack Information
rating: 0+x


March 17, 2021: Article discusses how sperm whales (and other whales more generally) changed their behavior in response to whaling. Against the predations of orcas (aka killer whales) they form a protective circle around the vulnerable members of the whale pod, but against the predations of human whaling vessels, they learned to swim into the wind, an acquired behavior that was helpful for outpacing vessels in the age of sail / 19th Century.

It also mentions how modern noise pollution impairs the whales ability to communicate, which is otherwise a very long range method. As a result of the noise pollution and the lack of sails, the whales attempts to avoid modern whalers are less successful than they were in the past.


Game and Story Use

  • Could provide a touch of verisimilitude for 19th Century game where the PCs are the crew of a ship (or a pod of whales?)
  • More likely you could read it for interesting behavioral models for some other herd animal in your game or story. Space whales in space opera, unicorns or the like in fantasy, etc. It may be worth the GMs time to figure out what sorts of tactics and strategies various animals use to escape their traditional predators, and which animals are clever enough to switch those tactics up when a new predator (be they man, orc, dragon, or xenomorph) moves into the territory.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License