To balance out the sperm whale poop photo I posted the other day, here's a pretty photo of a sperm whale:
This is an adult female, one of several in a family unit that I came across foraging for food. When I took this photo, she had just swum underneath and past me, turned upside down.
Sperm whales seem to adopt this belly-up position a lot when they're checking things out at the surface. I'm guessing that the flip-flopped orientation provides them with an optimal sonar image, which makes sense if they hunt "looking down", so to speak, with their sonar when they dive deep in search of a meal.
It's difficult to tell from this jpg, but the whale has her (very small) eyes closed. She had her eyes open until she was quite close to me. I'm not sure if this has any significance or not...but it's cute.