Definitions for baleenbəˈlin
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word baleen
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
Ref: whalebone (def. 1 ). 1
Origin of baleen:
1275–1325; ME balene (< AF baleine) < L bal(l)aena whale
a horny material from the upper jaws of certain whales; used as the ribs of fans or as stays in corsets
The plates in the mouth of the baleen whale, Mysticeti, which it uses to trap its food; formerly used in corsetry
a baleen whale
Origin: balaena, from φάλαινα.
plates or blades of "whalebone," from two to twelve feet long, and sometimes a foot wide, which in certain whales (Balaenoidea) are attached side by side along the upper jaw, and form a fringelike sieve by which the food is retained in the mouth
Baleen is a filter-feeder system inside the mouths of baleen whales. The baleen system works when a whale opens its mouth underwater and the whale takes in water. The whale then pushes the water out, and animals such as krill are filtered by the baleen and remain as food source for the whale. Baleen is similar to bristles and is made of keratin, the same substance found in human fingernails and hair. Some whales, such as the bowhead whale, have longer baleen than others. Other whales, such as the gray whale, only use one side of their baleen. These baleen bristles are arranged in plates across the upper jaw of the whale. Baleen is often called whalebone, but that name also can refer to the normal bones of whales, which have often been used as a material, especially as a cheaper substitute for ivory in carving. Depending on the species, a baleen plate can be 0.5 to 3.5 metres long, and weigh up to 90 kilograms. Its hairy fringes are called baleen hair or whalebone-hair. They are also called baleen bristles, which in sei whales are highly calcified, calcification functioning to increase their stiffness. Baleen plates are broader at the gumline. The plates have been compared to sieves or Venetian blinds.
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