(1. Catodon, Lacep).
Teeth in the lower jaw from twenty to twenty-four on each side; mostly conical with obtuse summits.
Catodon .macrocephalus and C. Trumpo, Lacep. Cetac. pp. 165 and 212. C. macroceph. Flem. Brit. An. p. 39. Blunt-headed Cachalot, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. in. p. 61. pl. 6. Spermaceti Whale, Alder-son in Camb. Phil. Trans, vol. 11. p. 253. pl. 12 - 14.
Entire length from fifty to sixty-three feet.
Head enormously large, forming more than one-third of the entire bulk; the body gradually tapering from the posterior part of it towards the tail: upper part of the snout very thick and swollen, as it were truncated in front, and overhanging considerably the lower jaw; this last of a narrow elongated form, fitting, when the mouth is closed, into a grooved cavity above: upper jaw without whalebone or visible teeth, although a few teeth may be found concealed within the gums on cutting through the integuments; in the lower jaw from forty to forty-nine teeth (there being occasionally an odd one), entering likewise when the mouth is shut into corresponding cavities above; the last three or four on each side smaller than the others, and somewhat hooked; the rest projecting above the gums about two inches, cylindrical or conical, with bluntish summits; those in front inclining backwards, those situate more behind forwards, the middle tooth on each side being nearly vertical: blow-hole single, near the extremity of the snout, and placed rather to the left of the median line: no dorsal fin ; instead of it a callous ridge commencing gradually, and terminating behind abruptly in a sort of hook-like process: pectorals small. General colour black or dusky, somewhat paler beneath*.
Occasionally stranded on different parts of the coast, but not of frequent occurrence in the British seas. The upper part of the head in this species consists of large cavities, separated from each other by a cartilaginous substance, and filled with an oily fluid, which, in its congealed state, forms the spermaceti of commerce. These cavities are quite distinct from that of the cranium which is situate beneath.
Catodon Sibbaldi, Flem. Brit. An. p. 39.
This supposed species is too imperfectly characterized, and rests on too doubtful authority, to rank as distinct. In the opinion of Cuvier, (Oss. Foss. torn. v. p. 335). the herd stated by Sibbald (Phalainolog. Nov. p. 24). as having occurred at Kairston in Orkney, consisting of an hundred individuals, were probably Belugas (Delphinus albicans), some of which had lost the teeth in the upper jaw through age. Moreover Sibbald appears only to have had his account from others, and not to have seen any of the individuals himself.
(2. Physeter, Lacep).