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Frankfurt am Main -  Senkenberg Museum - Finnwal-Skelett | by Daniel Mennerich
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Frankfurt am Main - Senkenberg Museum - Finnwal-Skelett

The fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), also called the finback whale, razorback, or common rorqual, is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales. It is the second longest animal in the world and second largest rorqual after the blue whale, growing to over 27 metres long and weighing nearly 74 tonne.


The American naturalist Roy Chapman Andrews called the fin whale "the greyhound of the sea... for its beautiful, slender body is built like a racing yacht and the animal can surpass the speed of the fastest ocean steamship."


Long and slender, the fin whale's body is brownish-grey with a paler underside. There are at least two recognized subspecies: the fin whale of the North Atlantic, and the fin whale of the Southern Hemisphere. It is found in all the world's major oceans, from polar to tropical waters. It is absent only from waters close to the ice pack at both the north and south poles and relatively small areas of water away from the open ocean. The highest population density occurs in temperate and cool waters.


Its food consists of small schooling fish, squid, and crustaceans including copepods and krill.

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Taken on September 7, 2012