Pectoral skin with longitudinal folds admitting of dilatation : jaws pointed.

Balsenoptera Jubartes, Scoresb. Arct. Reg. vol. 1. p. 484. B. Boops, Flem. Brit. An. p. 31. Pike-headed Mysticete, Shaw, Gen. Zool. vol. 11. p. 492. pl. 227. Fin-Whale, Neill in Wern. Mem. vol. 1. p. 201.

Dimensions

Entire length about forty-six feet: greatest circumference about twenty feet.

Description

Body very thick, and somewhat elevated, immediately over the pectoral fins; gradually tapering from that point towards the tail: head moderately large, becoming narrower towards the extremity of the snout, which terminates however in a somewhat broadish tip: lower jaw one-third of the entire length: palate with about three hundred laminae of whalebone on each side, the longest measuring about eighteen inches in length: dorsal protuberance or fin placed far down the back; two feet and a half high: pectorals four or five feet long, scarcely a foot broad. Colour black above, whitish on the belly, inclining to red between the pectoral folds.

Represented as being of not unfrequent occurrence in the Scotch seas ; and occasionally stranded on different parts of the English coast. There is some doubt whether the whale described and figured by Dr Johnston in the Trans, of Newcastle Nat. Hist. Soc. (vol. 1. p. 6). be referable to this species or not, as it possessed pectorals nine feet in length, being one-fourth of the length of the body. It was thrown on shore about two miles north of Berwick, in Sept. 1829.