What is whale?

  • (noun): Any of the larger cetacean mammals having a streamlined body and breathing through a blowhole on the head.
    See also — Additional definitions below


Whale (origin Old English hwæl) is the common name for various marine mammals of the order Cetacea. The term whale sometimes refers to all cetaceans, but more often it excludes dolphins and porpoises, which belong to the suborder Odontoceti (toothed whales). This suborder also includes the sperm whale, killer whale, pilot whale, and beluga whale. The other 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.

Read more about Whale.

Some articles on whale:

Whaling In New Zealand
... Nineteenth century whaling was based on the southern right whale, and 20th century whaling on the humpback whale ... There is now an established industry for whale watching based in the South Island town of Kaikoura ...
Mammals Of India - ORDER: Cetacea: Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises - Family Balaenoptridae
... Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) Lacépède, 1804 Sei Whale (Balaenoptera borealis) (Lesson, 1828) Bryde's Whale (Balaenoptera edeni) (Anderson ...
Whale Wars - Critical Reception
... Whale Wars became a hit for the channel and has received mostly positive reviews ... Review aggregation site MetaCritic has scored Whale Wars 71 out of 100 based on 6 reviews ... Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times wrote "Whale Wars splashes across the increasingly exhausted genre of people-at-work reality series like icy seawater, jolting you awake with a frothy, briny burst of — well, you ...
Whale Meat - History
... In Europe, whale could once be hunted locally throughout the Middle Ages for their meat and oil ... Catholicism, aquatic beings were generally considered "fish" therefore whale was deemed suitable for eating during Lent and other "lean periods" ... Parts submerged in water, such as whale or beaver tails, were considered "cold meat" ...
Whale Watching In Sydney
... Whale watching is a popular pastime in Sydney in the winter and spring ... are a number of different migration and whale seasons ...

More definitions of "whale":

  • (verb): Hunt for whales.

Famous quotes containing the word whale:

    And one rose in a tent of sea and gave
    A darkening shudder; water fell away;
    The whale stood shining, and then sank in spray.
    Yvor Winters (1900–1968)

    In clear weather the laziest may look across the Bay as far as Plymouth at a glance, or over the Atlantic as far as human vision reaches, merely raising his eyelids; or if he is too lazy to look after all, he can hardly help hearing the ceaseless dash and roar of the breakers. The restless ocean may at any moment cast up a whale or a wrecked vessel at your feet. All the reporters in the world, the most rapid stenographers, could not report the news it brings.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)