[AS.] A large swimming animal. The whale is not a fish, for its young are born alive, and are suckled, instead of coming out of eggs as young fishes do. Seals have feet that are more fitted for moving through the water than for moving on land ; but whales cannot move on land at all, for they have no feet. Some kinds of whales are the largest animals in the world. Whales are sometimes found in large herds, or "schools" as they are called. They are killed for their oil by the harpoon (q. v.). When a harpoon has struck a whale, the rope fastened to its handle is quickly let out over the side of the boat, and the whale pulls it so swiftly that the men are obliged to pour water over it to prevent setting the wood on fire. When once a harpoon has pierced a whale, it can only be got out by cutting the flesh. A dying whale often struggles so fiercely that it is dangerous for a boat to be near it. The bomb-lance and gun now used in killing whales are safer and more expeditious. The sperm whale (q. v.) has very sharp teeth in its lower jaw, with which it can crush a boat. One monster actually destroyed nine boats. Its jaw is 16 feet long, 7 or 8 broad, and about 10 in height. The thrasher, a large and voracious shark with a long upper lobe on its tail, often beats or fights the whale. The Greenland whale, the rorqual, and one or two other kinds, have whalebone instead of teeth. The whalebone, of which there are 360 plates or pieces in one animal, is fastened to the upper jaw of the mouth, and hangs down. Each piece is from 10 to 14 feet in length, and is 11 inches broad at the root; and one whale yields one or two tons of whalebone. The blubber or inner skin, which contains the oil, may be 16 inches thick, and a large whale may yield 275 barrels of oil. The throat of the Greenland whale is so narrow that it can swallow only the very smallest animals, such as shrimps and small jelly-fish, which are caught as in a net by the brush-like fringes on the edges of the whalebone. The throats of the spermaceti and rorqual whales are much larger. The rorqual is the largest member of the Whale family. Some of them are 85 feet long. But they are so savage, and their oil and blubber so inferior, that whalers do not often attack them. The whale has no hair, but the blubber keeps the outer skin oiled, enables it to resist the water, keeps out the cold, and from its lightness causes the body of the animal to float easily. The whale moves by its tail, which is so strong that it enables the largest of these animals to leap right out of the water. It uses its fins, or fore limbs, to balance itself, and also to grasp its young, of which it is very fond. The whale cannot remain long under water, and must come up for air every little while. But the nostrils of the animal are placed on the top of its head, so that when it rises very little of its body is seen.. These nostrils are called blow-holes, and through them it spouts up spray as well as its own warm breath to a great height. The sperm whale has only one blowhole. When under water the animal can protect both nostrils and ears by a sort of round stopper of skin and muscle, which fits so closely that not a drop can get in. Whales, often in hundreds, feed on the outskirts of herring and other fish shoals. The dolphin and porpoise are smaller members of the Whale family.