L. australis has many distinguishing physical characteristics. Some of these include a torpedo shaped body, a dark gray back, a white belly, a light gray area on flanks that extends from behind to the anus and a skinny white band that begins behind the dorsal fin and gets wider as it extends backwards. This latter feature is termed the “tail stock”.
L. australis has double black rings around both eyes and that extend forward to the nose. A final distinguishing feature that separates this species from other similar looking species is a circular patch of varying gray colors that is right on the thoracic area of the back.
The young of L. australis tend to look the same as the adults, but are much lighter in color. They become darker as they mature.
The teeth of L. australis seem to be variable. The maximum number on each upper jaw is thirty-seven and thirty-six on each lower jaw. Many teeth are hidden in the gums of the mouth.
The pectoral fin length is approximately 30 cm, and the dorsal fin can be up to 50 cm in height. The tail fluke is generally 30-60 cm wide, and the beak is up to 5 cm in length.
These animals may weigh up to 115 kg.
Average mass: 115 kg.
Range length: 150 to 310 cm.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
- MacDonald, D. 1984. Encyclopedia of Mammals. N.Y.: Facts on File Publications.