Dorsal fin of the Killer Whale.

The Palmyra Fish is an unknown cetacean, reported from Indian Ocean (The Gulf of Mannar, between Cape Comorin, India, and Sri Lanka). Its fin was reminiscent of the Palmyra palm tree (Borassus flabelliformis) of the Malabar Coast, India, which has a straight, black, upright trunk. Length, 25 feet. Grayishblack. Distinctive, erect dorsal fin about 5 feet long on the highest part of its back.

E. W. H. Holdsworth observed this whale in the Gulf of Mannar off Chilaw Town, Sri Lanka, on April 7, 1868. The Indian crew of his ship was familiar with the whale and called it the Palmyra fish.

Possible explanationEdit

  • The Killer whale (Orcinus orca) has a high dorsal fin, but Holdsworth was convinced the animal was not one of these.

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