fin whale


fin whale
finback.
[1880-85]

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or finback whale or razorback whale or common rorqual

Swift, slender-bodied baleen whale (Balaenoptera physalus) named for the ridge on its back.

It is 59–89 ft (18–27 m) long, with a triangular dorsal fin, short baleen, and several dozen grooves along its throat and chest. It is gray, with white on the underparts and on the right side of the lower jaw. It is found in oceans worldwide, in groups of a few to several hundred. It lives in polar waters in summer, feeding on crustaceans and small fishes, and moves to warmer waters in winter to breed. Once commercially valuable, it has been substantially reduced in numbers by overhunting and is now listed as an endangered species.

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mammal
also called  finback whale,  razorback whale , or  common rorqual 
 a slender baleen whale, second in size to the blue whale and distinguishable by its asymmetrical coloration. The fin whale is generally gray with a white underside, but the right side of the head has a light gray area, a white lower jaw, and white baleen at the front of the mouth.

      The fin whale is 18–27 metres (59–89 feet) long, with short baleen and 56–100 grooves along its throat and chest. It is found in all the world's oceans, in groups of a few to several hundred. Some fin whale populations live and feed in temperate waters during the summer and migrate to warmer waters in winter to breed. The fin whale's diet is unusually diverse for a cetacean, ranging from small crustaceans (crustacean), such as copepods (copepod) and krill, to fish and squid.

      The fin whale was once a commercially valuable species, but populations were substantially reduced during the mid-20th century by overhunting. Though listed as an endangered species, it is now commonly seen in the Northern Hemisphere and is protected by limits on the number that can be taken for noncommercial purposes. In the Southern Hemisphere, however, encounters with this species are rare.

      The fin whale and blue whale (Balaeonoptera musculus) are related, as both are rorquals (rorqual) belonging to the family Balaenopteridae. The latter portion of the fin whale's scientific name, physalus, was once used in reference to all rorquals.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fin whale — Fin Fin, n.[OE. finne, fin, AS. finn; akin to D. vin, G. & Dan. finne, Sw. fena, L. pinna, penna, a wing, feather. Cf. {pen} a feather.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) An organ of a fish, consisting of a membrane supported by rays, or little bony or cartilaginous …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fin whale — fin′ whale n. mam finback • Etymology: 1880–85 …   From formal English to slang

  • Fin whale — Finback redirects here. For the U.S. submarines of this name, see USS Finback. For the fictional character, see Finback (Transformers). Fin whale[1] A fin whale surfaces in the …   Wikipedia

  • Fin Whale — ] As of 2006, there are two named subspecies, each with distinct physical features and vocalizations. B. p. physalus (Linnaeus 1758), or Northern Fin Whale, is found in the North Atlantic, and B. p. quoyi (Fischer 1829), or Antarctic Fin Whale,… …   Wikipedia

  • fin whale — noun large flat headed whalebone whale having deep furrows along the throat; of Atlantic and Pacific • Syn: ↑finback, ↑finback whale, ↑common rorqual, ↑Balaenoptera physalus • Hypernyms: ↑rorqual, ↑razorback …   Useful english dictionary

  • fin whale — finvalas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Balaenoptera physalus angl. common finback; common finback whale; common finwhale; common rorqual; fin whale; finback; finback whale; finnar whale; finwhale;… …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • fin whale — noun Date: 1885 a baleen whale (Balaenoptera physalus) that may attain a length of over 70 feet (21 meters) and is found chiefly in subtropical to arctic and antarctic waters worldwide called also finback …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • fin whale — noun a whale of the rorqual family (Balaenoptera physalus) Syn: finback …   Wiktionary

  • fin whale — noun a large rorqual with a small dorsal fin and white underparts. [Balaenoptera physalus.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • Fin — Fin, n.[OE. finne, fin, AS. finn; akin to D. vin, G. & Dan. finne, Sw. fena, L. pinna, penna, a wing, feather. Cf. {pen} a feather.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) An organ of a fish, consisting of a membrane supported by rays, or little bony or cartilaginous… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English