Sperm Whale Hand?

As different as sperm whales and humans look, and as different as our lives are, it's easy and entirely natural to assume that we don't have much in common. Hang on to that thought.

sperm whale family unit
Sperm whale family unit. See the bones in the pectoral fin? (License image)

This is part of a sperm whale family unit, which comprised several adult females and three juveniles. 

First, note the white markings on the abdominal area of the individual in the foreground. These prominent markings (along with behavioural characteristics of this group) allowed me to keep track of this group over an extended period of time, distinguishing them from the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other whales milling about at the time.

Second, take a look at the pectoral fin of the whale in the foreground. The light is striking the fin just so, perfectly highlighting the underlying bone structure.

See the bone structure that resembles the bones that comprise our fingers?!

Yes, inside sperm whale pectoral fins are bones that parallel those of our own hands and arms.

Pretty cool, eh?