High Finned Sperm Whale

Unknown Cetacean of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Scientific name: P^hyseter tursio, given by Carl von Linné in 1758.

Variant name: High-finned cachalot. Physical description: Like a sperm whale. Length, 60 feet. Teeth are only in the lower jaw. Large dorsal fin looks like a ship's mast.

Distribution: North Atlantic Ocean, off the Shetland Islands and Nova Scotia.

Significant sightings: Two stranded specimens were reported in the seventeenth century.

On either August 27 or September 27, 1946, a black whale with a high dorsal fin was seen to enter Annapolis Basin, Nova Scotia, Canada, and was apparently trapped there for two days. Its length was variously estimated between 10 and 100 feet.

Sources: Robert Sibbald, P-'halainologia nova (Edinburgh: Joannis Redi, 1692), pp. 13-19; Carl von Linné, Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, 10th ed. (Stockholm: Laurentii Salvii, 1758-1759), vol. 1, p. 77; "No Such Animal," Doubt, no. 16 (1946): 237.

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