Definition of baleen whale in English:

baleen whale


  • A whale that has plates of whalebone in the mouth for straining plankton from the water. Baleen whales include the rorquals, humpback, right whales, and gray whale.

    Also called whalebone whale

    Suborder Mysticeti, order Cetacea: three families and ten species

    ‘Its calls do not match those of any known species, although they are clearly those of a baleen whale, a group that includes blue, fin and humpback whales.’
    • ‘Its snouty head, patchy grey body and small pedal fins make the dwarf look more like a large dolphin than a baleen whale.’
    • ‘Only one meat sample from a baleen whale exceeded the allowable mercury concentration, the researchers report in the June 15 Environmental Science and Technology.’
    • ‘The lower jaw of this form may have been edentulous and supported a gular sac, like that of a giant pelican or baleen whale.’
    • ‘Bowheads, also known as Greenland right whales, are baleen whales, meaning that instead of teeth they have bonelike plates that they use to strain food from gulps of water.’
    • ‘Right whales are large baleen whales, meaning that instead of teeth they have bonelike plates, which they use to strain food from large gulps of water.’
    • ‘Similar findings have been reported for several baleen whale species (family Balaenopteridae).’
    • ‘Unlike the baseball-sized throat of baleen whales, this toothed whale's throat is large enough to swallow small seals whole.’
    • ‘Humpbacks, like other baleen whales, eat large amounts of small prey.’
    • ‘The previously unknown species lived about 25 million years ago and was an early ancestor of modern baleen whales, which feed by filtering plankton from seawater.’
    • ‘Killer whales in other parts of the world also use shallow water to trap and even beach baleen whales, just as the killer whales seem to have used Twofold Bay.’
    • ‘Minkes are baleen whales that grow up to seven metres and are known to spend time around South African shores.’
    • ‘Norway argues that minke whales, the largest of the baleen whales at up to nine metres, are plentiful off its coast and can sustain a controlled hunt.’
    • ‘To say that baleen whales feed by passively filtering krill is almost to insult the mammals’ truly sophisticated behavior.’
    • ‘For nearly 100 years a pod of around 30 killer whales systematically partnered their human counterparts in hunting the baleen whales that migrated along the East Coast of Australia.’
    • ‘They are the most selective feeders of the baleen whales, consuming only certain species of krill and not others.’
    • ‘No sauropod ever equalled in size the greatest of the baleen whales.’
    • ‘Toothed whales do not have a sense of smell, but baleen whales do have some olfactory nerves.’
    • ‘But in Antarctic waters, E supurba so abounds that the baleen whales feed on it almost exclusively.’
    • ‘Their cavernous mouths are used to gather up small fish and plankton in the same manner as baleen whales, hence the name.’


baleen whale

/bəˈlēn (h)wāl/ /bəˈlin (h)weɪl/