Whale Illustration.

Whale Illustration.

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Credit: DAVID PARKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Plate from 18th century encyclopedia showing an illustration of a whale. Whale is the common name for various marine mammals of the order Cetacea. The whale illustrated belongs to the Cetacean suborder, Mysticeti (baleen whales), comprises filter feeders that eat small organisms caught by straining seawater through a comblike structure found in the mouth called baleen. This suborder includes the blue whale, the humpback whale, the bowhead whale and the minke whale. All cetaceans have forelimbs modified as fins, a tail with horizontal flukes, and nasal openings (blowholes) on top of the head. Whales range in size from the blue whale, the largest animal known to have ever existed .

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Keywords: baleen, blowholes, blue whale, bowhead whale, cetacea, cetacean, encyclopedia, filter feeders, fins, flukes, humpback whale, minke whale, mysticeti, whale

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