whale

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whale Any of several species of large aquatic mammals; it has a fish-like body with paddle-like flippers, and a tail flattened horizontally into flukes for locomotion. It spends its whole life in water. Two main groups exist: toothed whales and baleen whales. Toothed whales (Odontoceti) have simple teeth and feed primarily on fish and squid. They include the bottle-nosed whale, sperm whale, and beluga. Baleen whales (Mysticeti), including the right whale, blue whale, and California grey whale, have no teeth but carry comb-like plates of horny material (baleen or whalebone) in the roof of the mouth. These form a sieve, through which the whales strain krill on which they feed. Order Cetacea. The order also includes dolphins and porpoises. See also whaling

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whale

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whale1 / (h)wāl/ • n. (pl. same or whales ) a very large marine mammal (order Cetacea) with a streamlined hairless body, a horizontal tail fin, and a blowhole on top of the head for breathing. See baleen whale and toothed whale.whale2 • v. [tr.] inf. beat; hit: Dad came upstairs and whaled me | [intr.] they whaled at the water with their paddles.

whale

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whale in early translations of the Bible, a whale is given as the ‘great fish’ which swallowed Jonah. A whale is the emblem of St Brendan and the 6th–7th bishop St Malo, who is regarded as the apostle of Brittany.

whale

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whale Meat of Baleanoptera spp. A 150‐g portion is a rich source of protein, iron, and niacin; a source of vitamin B2; contains 5 g of fat, of which 25% is saturated, 35% mono‐unsaturated; supplies 200  kcal (840 kJ).

whale

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whale OE. hwǣl = OHG. wal (in modG. walfisch), ON. hvalr, rel. to OHG. walira, (M)HG. wels (:- *χwalis) sheath-fish. The present form reflects obl. cases of OE. hwæl. Comp. whalebone elastic bony substance of the upper jaw of whales XVII.

whale

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whale See CETACEA.