The scientific tourist #76 — Baleen whale

From the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, France comes this shot of the skeleton of a baleen whale:

Balleen Whale Skeleton

What people think of as whales really belong to two suborders of the Cetacea — some have teeth (Odontoceti), the others are filter feeders and have baleen in their mouths (Mysticeti). Often called whalebone whales, or great whales, baleen whales can grow to 300,000 pounds in weight an 100 feet in length. But their girth doesn’t seem to slow them down — some, like the Humpback whale, can jump completely out of the water. Others are somewhat less acrobatic, but can at least give the ocean surface a good thrashing.

The baleen whales also include the Blue Whale — the largest animal on Earth, and actually the largest to have ever lived.

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