At one time the future of the sperm whale looked bleak. For decades it was hunted for its oil, a commodity much in demand by heavy industry for making lubricants. After several years of campaigning by conservationists. In1970 the U.S. Congress passed the Endangered Species Conservation Act; it banned the importing of sperm whale products. Some other countries followed suit and the sperm whale was saved from extinction.
But not all the credit can be taken by the conservationists. The legislation might not have been passed so easily if scientists had not already found a substitute for sperm oil in the Jojoba, a plant that had flourished in Mexico and in Arizona for hundreds of years.
The Jojoba is a gray-green or blue or blue-green, evergreen shrub that can grow six feet high. The foliage is luxuriant, but the plant is most highly prized for the oil contained in the nuts.
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