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Sperm Whale

"Sperm Whale" is a descriptor in the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus, MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). Descriptors are arranged in a hierarchical structure, which enables searching at various levels of specificity.

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The species Physeter catodon (also called Physeter macrocephalus), in the family Physeteridae. The common name is derived from the milky wax substance in its head (spermaceti). The species also produces an intestinal secretion AMBERGRIS, which was previously used in perfumes. The sperm whale is the largest toothed MAMMAL in the world.


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