Lesser Rorqual


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Lesser Rorqual

 

(Balaenoptera acutorostrata), an aquatic mammal of the suborder Mysticeti. The body, which is up to 10 m long, is dark gray above and white below. There are up to 60 longitudinal furrows on the throat and chest region. The head is wedge-shaped. The mouth contains as many as 320 pairs of light-yellow whalebone, or baleen, plates. The lesser rorqual is found in all oceans. The northern variety has a white transverse belt on the pectoral fins; the southern variety does not have such a stripe. The gestation period is about ten months. The calf, measuring approximately 2.7 m long, is born in warm waters. The lesser rorqual feeds on swarming crustaceans, fish, and, rarely, cephalopods. It is caught commercially in the waters of Japan and Norway; since 1972 it has been hunted in the antarctic.

REFERENCES

Tomilin, A. G. Kitoobraznye. Moscow, 1957. (Zveri SSSR i prilezhashchikh stran, vol. 9.)
Zhizn’zhivotnykh, vol. 6. Moscow, 1971.