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The Whaling Expedition of the Ulysses
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Quentin R. Walsh and P. J. Capelotti

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034799

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034799.001.0001

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Fin Whales

Fin Whales

(p.219) 13 Fin Whales
The Whaling Expedition of the Ulysses 1937–38

Quentin R. Walsh

University Press of Florida

The fin whale is one of the Mystacoceti, or baleen whales. It belongs to the family Balaenopteridae, which is distinguished by the following characteristics: a dorsal fin is present; the ventral region of the body has longitudinal folds in the blubber that extend posteriorly from the chin to the abdominal region; the head is less than one-quarter of the body length; the skull bones are slightly arched; the baleen is short and coarse; and the pectoral fin is tetradactylous and narrow. The common names applied to this whale are finner, common finback, common finner, finback whale, common rorqual, herring whale, razorback, true fin whale, and fin whale. In this discussion, the species is termed fin whale or B. physalus. There is believed to be only one true species of fin whale in existence.

Keywords:   fin whale, Mystacoceti, baleen whales, Balaenopteridae, B. physalus

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