Thickest skin

Last updated: March 23, 2020 at 14:29 pm

The sperm whale has the thickest skin of any living animal. The skin on its back and head—without any subcutaneous fat—can be up to 35 cm (14 in.) thick. And unlike the smooth skin of most other large whales, the skin on the back of the sperm whale is almost always rough and wrinkly. Large pieces of the nearly translucent skin are lost and float to the surface when sperm whales gather to socialise and groom by rubbing their bodies together.

The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) has the thickest skin of any fish in the world. It is as thick as 23 cm (9 in) in places.

Reeves, R.; Stewart, B.; Clapham, P. & Powell, J. (2003). Guide to Marine Mammals of the World. New York: A.A. Knopf. pp. 240–243.
Sperm whale’s skin comes off during mass ‘scratchathon.’ NewScientist. February 15, 2017.

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