The long-finned pilot whale is not actually a whale, but a dolphin (5). Along with the related short-finned pilot whale, this species was once called a 'pothead', as the bulbous head was thought to resemble a black cooking pot by the early whalers that first encountered the species (2). The Latin name of this genus, Globicephala
, meaning 'globe head' also refers to the shape of the head (6). The stocky body is black or dark grey in colour with a white stripe passing diagonally behind the eye (5), a greyish area on the belly, and an anchor-shaped grey patch on the chin (7). As the common name of this species suggests, the sickle-shaped (7) pectoral fins (flippers) are very long, there is a single blowhole, and the dorsal fin is placed forwards on the body (5). The range of this species and the short-finned pilot whale overlap in some areas, and it can be very difficult to distinguish between the two, particularly as it is often difficult to see the flippers (2).