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see whalewhale,
aquatic mammal of the order Cetacea, found in all oceans of the world. Members of this order vary greatly in size and include the largest animals that have ever lived. Cetaceans never leave the water, even to give birth.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Balaenoptera physalus), also finback, a marine mammal of the family Balaenopteridae of the suborder Mystacoceti (whalebone, or baleen, whales). The body length is 19–20 m; males are 1 m shorter than females. Some individuals reach a length of 27.3 m. The body is dark-gray above and white below; the right side of the head is lighter than the left. The whalebone plates are gray-blue and are found in rows of about 360. There are 70 to 90 stripes on the belly. The rorqual is found from the arctic to the antarctic; in the USSR it occurs in the seas of the Far East and, very rarely, in the Barents and White seas. The whale enters areas with thinning ice. The young, which are born in moderately warm waters, are about 6–7 m long. Rorquals feed on planktonic crustaceans, schooling fishes, and cephalopod mollusks. They are commercially hunted, and their number is decreasing.


Tomilin, A. G. Kitoobraznye. (Zveri SSSR i prilezhashchikh stran, vol. 9). Moscow, 1951.
Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 6. Moscow, 1971.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


any of several whalebone whales of the genus Balaenoptera, esp B. physalus: family Balaenopteridae. They have a dorsal fin and a series of grooves along the throat and chest
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Jarzobski said it was unclear how the finback whale died, but the great white sharks attraction toward the carcass was a good sign.
(Bush was rescued by the crew of the submarine USS Finback; his two crew members, however, died).
Historically, the PLA(N) relied on older Chengdu J-7 variants and Shenyang J-8B/D Finback fighters for the offshore air defense mission.
Beside it, there is a museum of sea creatures, which showcases various sponges, shells and mummified fishes, as well as a complete finback whale skeleton, an aquarium, and a ship repair workshop.
In late December, a finback whale died after beaching in the New York City borough of Queens.
The distressed 18-metre long finback, the second biggest animal species, came ashore in Breezy Point, Queens.
The knifemaker's 8" Finback model is sleekly styled with a wicked 3.5" clip-point blade.
Region 2's other bay (you know, the one that's not the Chesapeake) is the Delaware, home to America's largest population of horseshoe crabs, as well as dozens of bird species; dolphins; humpback, pilot, and finback whales; and plenty of smaller marine invertebrates.
With an area of 138,000 sq km, Agoa will make it possible to reinforce the protection of emblematic but threatened species, like the sperm whale, the humpback whale and the finback whale, to sustainably manage their habitats and to ensure that they are considered in the development of human activities.
On our two-hour trip we passed a seal colony, were followed by curious porpoises and spotted eight finback whales and one minky.
Bush never forgot the gratitude he felt when, two hours later, the periscope of USS Finback (SS 230) appeared.
A countervailing (positive) bias might have come from the inclusion of oil from humpback whales, blackfish (mainly pilot whales, Globicephala macrorhyncha), and occasionally right whales, Eubalaena japonica, fin ("finback") whales, Balaenoptera physalus, and blue (sulphur bottom) whales, Balaenoptera musculus, in the whale oil returns of vessels visiting the gray whale grounds along the Mexico and California coasts.