WHALE. Any large cetacean is called a whale, while any representative of the order is usually called a porpoise or dolphin. This division of the group is unscientific. how ever, and breaks down when the moderate sized forms are in question, the layman being always in doubt whether these are to be classified as whales or as porpoises.
It happens that all cetaceans having whale bone, instead of teeth, or those constituting the suborder Itlystacoceti, are of large or huge size. Thesemay be all quite properly called whales, hut it will be necessary for the present psi to add to this natural group the sperm a representative of the toothed whales. or sub order Odontoceti and the bottlenosed, or whales, which constitute the fansib' Zipkiides, and also belong among the toothed whales. The order then stands as follows: Order Caeca, Cetaceans.
Suborder AlystacecaL Mt anaemia with whodataawa Family Saiessida. (Co-statensiva with the wahanina-1 Suhnrder Odeatoceti. All cetaceans with teeth.
Family Paynteride Sperm Family liottlanard Family Drialmatia. Nowise, or doiplues.
Family Plaionistile. River dolphins.
Whalebone Whales.— Whalers recognize several species of groups of whales With whale tone, to which they give the names of right whales, humpbacks, finbacks and sulphurbot toms These correspond to natural groups or genera, except that the sulphurbottom is really kind of finlock. To these are to be added the California gray whale, or grayback, a very dis tinct genus, combining characters of right whales and finbacks, and the pygmy right whale of New Zealand. These various genera may be distinguished by the following external characters: Humpbacks (genus Al egaptera) Form bully and uncouth. Head broad and rounded to front, and flat on top, with rows of hemi spherical tubercles. Belly with many broad longitudinal ridges and furrows. Pectoral fins very long (about one-third the length of the body), with serrations corresponding to the joints of the index finger. A low, thick dorsal fin. Flukes with a serrated margin. Color black and white. Whalebone short, dull blackish.
Finbacks (genus Boternoplero).— Form slender and graceful. Head broad and flattish, more or less pointed in front. Belly with very numerous narrow ridges and furrows. Pectoral fins short. with plain margins. A falcate dorsal fin Color gray and white. Whalebone short, striped gray and white, or entirely black, or black with white bristles, or entirely white.
California Gray Whale (genus Rhacitinec les) -- Form rather slender. Head compara us narrow, moderately arched and pointed.
Nu abdominal ridges or furrows, but two short furrows on the throat. No dorsal fin. Pec torals short. Color mottled gray. Whalebone short, white.
Right Whales (genus Bigoted).— Form heavy and compact. Snout very narrow, and strongly arched. No ridges or farrows. No dorsal fin- Pectoral short and very broad. Color entirely black, or with a little white below. Whalebone very long, narrow, black.
Pygmy Right Whale of New Zealand (genus 11. Similar to Bakens, but sue small A dorsal fin present. Whalebone white.
Humpbacks.— The humpbadc is in many re spects the most remarkable of all whales. It reaches a length of about 50 feet, The anterior pin of the body is very massise, but the posterior quite slender and at the same time so irregularly shaped and so awkwardly joined to the thorax that the animal appears mis shapen. This effect is heightened by the dorsal fin, which is low and thick, with a concave anterior margin and rounded tip. Not less striking are the immense crenate-margined pectoral fins, like the wings of a bird, and &hoot one-third as long as the body. The bread abdominal ridges nearest the median line join below on the throat, forming a chin-like protuberance. Humpbacks are infested by large barnacles of the genus C armful*. which fasten on the head, fins, flukes and abdominal ridges. Where they settle on the Mack skin hot are afterward robbed off, or otherwise got rid of, they leave behind distinct white marks, in the form of discs circle, crescents, etc., which add to the singular appearance of these whales. Fastened to the large barnacles, are often hunches of stalked barnacles, genus Orion, which hang down like fringes on the fins. Some 9 or 10 species of humpbacks have been described, hut wherever observed they present characters so nearly alike that it is extremely probable that all belong to one widely-diffused species. The species of the Atlantic Coast of North America and Europe is lticgaptera nodosa. Humpbacks occur in all seas, from the Arctic to the Antarc tic. They congregate in bands, or schools, which sometimes number hundreds or even thousands of individuals. They arc very ir regular in their nicoements and indulge in all manner of uncouth actions. When they dive or sound they throw the flukes out of the water Like other cetaceans they in seasonal migrations northward and southward. In the North Atlantic they withdraw from the waters of Greenland, Newfoundland, Iceland and Nor way in fall and return in spring. They feed chiefly on fish.