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The Finback Whale

The Fin whale is the second largest animal after the Blue Whale. It can grow to a length of 26m (85ft) and weigh 30-80 tonnes but on the average it is much smaller. The Fin whale is called a "rorqual" a Norwegian word for "furrow" and refers to the pleated grooves running from its chin to its navel. The throat grooves, in addition to streamlining the shape of the whale, allow the throat area (cavum vent-rale) to expand tremendously during feeding. This allows the taking in of tonnes of food-laden water which is then discarded through their baleen plates leaving the fish or krill for swallowing. This efficient system enables the largest animals on earth to feed on some of the smallest.