Antarctic Long Finned Whale

Unknown CETACEAN of the Antarctic.

Physical description: Length, 20-30 feet. Black. Long, erect, slightly curved dorsal fin situated toward the tail.

Distribution: Antarctic waters.

Significant sightings: In 1841, commander of the Erebus James C. Ross and surgeon Robert McCormick reported seeing a high-finned whale in the Ross Sea off Ross Island, Antarctica.

Zoologist Edward A. Wilson observed groups of similar cetaceans on January 28 and February 8, 1902, during Robert Scott's Discovery expedition to the Antarctic. They were black, with some white around the mouth or chin. The dorsal fins were 3-4 feet long and sabre-shaped.

Cetologist Robert Clarke and colleagues logged eight sightings of a high-finned mystery whale about 20 feet long off the coast of Chile, November 24-27, 1964.

Sources: James Clark Ross, A Voyage of Discovery and Research in the Southern and Antarctic Regions, during the Years 1839—43, vol. 1 (London: John Murray, 1847); Edward Adrian Wilson, Mammalia (Cetacea & Pinnipedia) (London, 1907), pp. 4-5; Robert Clarke, Anelio Aguayo L., and Sergio Basulto del Campo, "Whale Observation and Whale Marking off the Coast of Chile in 1964," Scientific Report of the Whales Research Institute, no. 30 (1978): 117-177; Darren Naish, "Multitudinous Enigmatic Cetaceans, or 'Whales in Limbo,'" Animals and Men, no. 11 (December 1996): 28-34.

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