Sperm Whales Flukes

Hello cetacean friends!

On our fantastic tour yesterday morning we had sunshine and … Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus) fluking!

Did you know that Sperm Whales have a very distinctive blow? It is sideways and angled forward due to the offset single blowhole located to the left side of the front of the head. They don’t really have a dorsal fin, only a small rounded hump behind which there can be a series of ‘knuckles’ running down to the large tail.

And did we see the tail again? Of course we did!

Fluke of Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) from Terra Azul boat.


Photographing the tail of a Sperm Whale is really important. It’s possible to identify individuals by the shape of the flukes. So far we have a total of 962 identified Sperm Whale individuals in the Azores, of which 286 in São Miguel. Let’s hope we have good pictures of today’s flukes for photo-identification.


Examples of Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) individual matches between different years and locations here in the Azores.

Jessie Ocket

About Jessie Ocket

Jessie has a strong passion for the ocean and wildlife. Joined the TERRA AZUL team as Volunteer Marine Wildlife Guide in 2019, enjoying out at sea with wildlife, accompanying and informing visitors, and collecting field imagery and data for local Cetaceans and Sea Turtles Research & Conservation projects.

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