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ALL ABOUT WHALES!
What is a Whale? Whale Information Sheets Anatomy and Behavior Extreme Whales Whale Myths Whale Evolution Whale Classification Whale Glossary Whale Activities Whale Index

WHALE ANATOMY AND BEHAVIOR
General Anatomy Size Pods The Senses Baleen
Reproduction Diet Flukes Sleep Offense/
Defense
Blowhole

Baleen

Baleen is a sieve-like device that Mysticeti (baleen whales) use to obtain nourishment (krill, plankton, and other small organisms). Baleen is a series of stiff, flexible material that hang from the upper jaw. The inside of the baleen is edged with hairy plates that filter krill. Baleen is made of keratin (the same substance our fingernails and hair are made of). Baleen grows throughout a whale's life. The ends of a whales baleen are always wearing out.

Baleen is also called whalebone and used to be used as a plastic-like material.

WHALE NUMBER OF BALEEN PLATES SIZE OF BALEEN COLOR OF BALEEN
Blue whale 320 pairs 39 inches long (1 m), 21 inches wide (53 cm), and weigh 200 pounds (90 kg) black baleen plates with dark gray bristles
Bowhead whale 350 pairs 175.5 inches (4.5 m) long and 14 inches (36 cm) wide - very fine textured silver-colored
Gray whale 160 pairs 15 inches long and 10 inches wide- very thick gray with yellowish bristles
Humpback whale 330 pairs 25 inches (0.6 m) long and 13.5 inches (34 cm) wide dark gray baleen plates with coarse gray bristles hanging
Minke whale 300 pairs less than 12 inches (30 cm) long and 5 inches (13 cm) wide - fine textured creamy-white with pure white bristles
Right whales 200-270 pairs up to 9.5 feet (3 m) long gray-black to white bristles






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