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Sperm Whale vs. Giant Squid: Who Would Win in a Fight?

The main difference between sperm whales and giant squids is that sperm whales are vertebrate mammals while giant squids are invertebrate mollusks. Sperm whales are bigger, heavier, and eat different food from giant squids. The only similarity is they are both marine animals. Sperm whales nearly always win against giant squids, as they are a key component of their diet.

There are many interesting matchups in the animal kingdom. And what could be more interesting than a comparison between two mysterious, majestic animals of the marine world: sperm whales and giant squids?

Although it’s plain to see that the two beasts are completely different, it’s still worth a look into the exact differences. What’s the weight and size difference? What do both animals eat? And are there any similarities?

In this article, we delve deeper into the sperm whale vs giant squid matchup and explore every difference and similarity between the two.

Sperm Whale vs. Giant Squid: An Overview

Giant squids are smaller and lighter than sperm whales. They are also different taxonomically, anatomically, and diet-wise. The only similarity between them is their oceanic habitat. Sperm whales are much stronger than squids and would win in a fight.

There are many more differences between sperm whales and octopuses than there are similarities.

Although sperm whales and giant squids differ in many aspects, the main ones are the following:

  1. Size
  2. Weight
  3. Classification
  4. Teeth
  5. Limbs
  6. Hearts and brains
  7. Body build
  8. Reproduction
  9. Lifespan
  10. Diet
Giant Squid
Image Source

Giant squids and sperm whales are so different that it’s no surprise there are only a few similarities between them:

  1. Habitat
  2. Social life

Sperm Whale vs. Giant Squid: Differences

Giant squids are smaller and lighter than sperm whales. They do not have teeth, while sperm whales do. Gant squids have more limbs, hearts, and brains. They have shorter lifespans and different diets.

The two animals look completely different. It is apparent at first glance that they are almost incomparable. Still, ten key differences are illustrated in the following table.

DifferencesSperm WhaleGiant Squid
SizeUp to 60 feetUp to 43 feet
WeightUp to 90,000 poundsUp to 600 pounds
TeethHas conical teeth.Has no teeth, only a radula with denticles.
LimbsNo limbsEight arms, two tentacles
Hearts and BrainsOne heart, one brainThree hearts, nine brains
Body BuildElongated mantles with organs in it, no bones.Long bodies with bones and large mouths
ReproductionLays eggs, mates once per life, dies after mating.Viviparous, mates multiple times per life, doesn’t die after mating.
LifespanUp to five yearsUp to 70 years
Dietsmall fish, crustaceans, mollusksSquid, sharks, fish, skates

1. Size

Sperm Whales

Sperm whales are 60 feet long, while giant squids grow up to be around 43 feet long. A brunt of the giant squid’s size is made up of its tentacles. Without their limbs, they are about 6.5 feet long.
Generally, male sperm whales are larger than females. Adult sperm whale females are about 40 feet long.[1]

2. Weight

GIant squids are exponentially lighter than sperm whales. Their full weight is only about 600 pounds, while sperm whales may be as heavy as 90,000 pounds.

Sperm whale females are about 30,000 pounds, which is still much heavier than even the largest giant squids.[2]

3. Classification

Sperm Whale vs. Giant Squid Classification

One of the biggest differences between sperm whales and giant squids is classification. They differ on the fundamental taxonomic level of phylum. 

Sperm whales are vertebrate mammals of the phylum Chordata, while giant squids are invertebrate cephalopods of the phylum Mollusca.[3]

4. Teeth

Sperm whales have teeth, while giant squids do not. Instead, giant squids have beaks and tongue-like organs called “radulae”. These organs have tooth-like structures called denticles.

The teeth of sperm whales have the following characteristics:[4]

  • 20–26 on the lower jaw
  • Upper teeth are negligible
  • Each lower tooth is about two pounds
  • Each lower tooth is 4–12 inches long
  • Banana-shaped
  • Made of dentin and cementum

5. Limbs

Sperm Whale vs. Giant Squid Limbs
Image Source

Giant squids have two tentacles and eight arms. Their tentacles are long, and narrow, and have wider ends with suckers on them. Their arms are shorter, wider at the base, and narrower at the tip, and have suckers throughout their length.

Sperm whales don’t have arms and tentacles. They have two flippers (pectoral fins) in place of their arms and a tail (caudal fin).[5]

6. Hearts and Brains

Giant squids have three hearts, one central and two peripheral next to their fins. They also have one central brain and eight mini-brains. The central brain is a doughnut-shaped organ wrapped around the esophagus. The mini-brains are networks of neuron clusters, with each controlling an arm.

Sperm whales have one brain and one heart.

7. Body Build

Sperm Whale vs. Giant Squid Body Build

Giant squids and sperm whales look completely different inside and out. Sperm whales have long, rectangular bodies with narrow tails and dark gray skin. They also have skeletons protecting their organs and supporting their body shape.[6]

Giant squids have a long, narrow mantle that contains many of the organs. They lack bones and their only solid internal part is a chitinous structure called “gladius”.

8. Reproduction

Sperm whales are viviparous, meaning they do not lay eggs. Females birth a single calf. Males battle for mating rights and have multiple sexual partners during mating seasons.[7]

Giant squids lay tens of thousands of eggs. Males impress their partners by color changing. After mating, both the male and the female perish due to a process called senescence. Squids mate for life.

9. Lifespan

Sperm Whale vs. Giant Squid Lifespan

A sperm whale may live up to 70 years, but some are suspected to live even longer. Males are sexually mature at 18 years old, while females are ready to mate at seven years old.

Giant squids usually live for five years. They become sexually active between one and three years old.

10. Diet

Sperm whales eat larger than giant squids. They are a natural enemy of giant squids, and the brunt of their diet consists of squids. Apart from them, they eat larger fishes, sharks, and skates.

Giant squids eat their own kind sometimes, but their diet mainly consists of small crustaceans, mollusks, and fish.

Sperm Whale vs. Giant Squid: Similarities

The only major similarities between sperm whales and giant squids are their ranges and solitary lifestyle.

Generally, the two animals inhabit the same ranges. Sperm whales and giant squids can be found in every ocean of the world. One of the biggest food sources for sperm whales is giant squids, as they meet quite often.

Their social lives are also vaguely similar. Although sperm whale females can live around young males, adult males are solitary and only meet up with females during mating season. Giant squids have a similar lifestyle, although even females live alone.

HabitatAtlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans
Social LifeMostly solitary
Sperm Whale vs. Giant Squid Similarities

Sperm Whale vs. Giant Squid: Who Would Win in a Fight?

Sperm whales would win in a fight against giant squids. They are larger, faster, and have a stronger bite. Sperm whales actively hunt giant squids in the wild.

A fight in the open water would definitely favor sperm whales. They can reach speeds of 23 mph, so it’s easy for them to catch giant squids, who aren’t suspected to go above 20 mph. 

The greatest advantage comes in weight. The largest sperm whales can be 150 times as heavy as the largest giant squids. This alone means that if a squid gets into a whale’s mouth, there is no chance of forcing itself out of it.

Sperm whales eat giant squids regularly. As squids tend to be prey for many other animals, they evolved to have an array of defensive tools:

  • Camouflage
  • Venom
  • Ink squirting
  • High intelligence
  • Flexible bodies


The main difference between sperm whales and giant squids is that sperm whales are mammals while giant squids are mollusks. Giant squids are lighter and smaller. They lay eggs, while sperm whales don’t. Sperm whales also have bones and fewer limbs than giant squids.

The two animals inhabit similar ranges and have generally solitary lives. As sperm whales regularly feast upon giant squids, a fight between the two heavily favors sperm whales.


Sperm Whale vs. Colossal Squid: Who Would Win in a Fight?

A sperm whale would win against a colossal squid. Colossal squids are the heaviest squid species (up to 1,500 pounds), but sperm whales are much larger (up to 90,000 pounds). Colossal squids could never overpower sperm whales.

Can a Squid Eat a Shark?

Yes, squids can eat sharks. Although even the largest squids stay clear of big shark species, they do prey upon small individuals sometimes. Squids are opportunistic predators and eat anything that’s smaller than them.

How Do Sperm Whales Fight Squid?

Sperm whales suck in squids to eat them. Whales twist their bodies while chasing squids and get into an upside-down position. It is thought that this maneuver allows them to create a vacuum effect in their mouths so squids get stuck.

About Misfit Animals Staff

The Misfit Animals staff consists of animal lovers, pet enthusiasts, veterinarians, zoologists, and other animal experts. Our goal is to provide people with information on proper animal care.

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