During all the centuries of whaling the blue whale has been one of the few species that could not be caught in sufficient number to make its taking commercially profitable. The species was too powerful, too huge, and too swift in its movements for antiquated whaling equipment and methods. With the exception of the ventral surfaces of the pectoral fins, which are white, the entire body and appendages of this whale are one color, namely, blue-gray. However, the animal frequently passes through areas of water full of a plankton growth that colors the dermis a yellow hue; it may be that this is the condition that gave rise to the incorrect American name; but if the carcass is carefully examined under such circumstances it will be found that the yellow covering can be easily scraped off, exposing the normal blue-gray color of the dermis.
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