National Geographic : 1940 Jan
WHALES, GIANTS OF THE SEA In 1897 the prices quoted at San Fran cisco, California, were $4 a pound for whale bone and 30 cents a gallon for whale oil. The average yield of a Bowhead was from 1.500 to 1,700 pounds of whalebone and from 70 to 90 barrels of oil. worth in all about $8,000. This smooth-throated whale measures from 50 to 65 feet in length. Adults are velvety black, except for the small ash-colored area at the tip of the lower jaws, the cream-colored chin and throat, and, occasionally, white or piebald underparts. Im mature individuals are bluish black and the calves are bluish gray. The gigantic mouth is provided on each side with a row of about 360 long, narrow, closely spaced blades of whalebone, attached at one end to the gum of the upper jaw. The blades near the middle of each row are the longest, sometimes nearly 12 feet, but de crease gradually toward each end of the row down to a few inches. The newborn calf is rarely longer than 14 or 15 feet, and is nursed for about a year. Bottlenose Whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus) During the summer, Bottlenose Whales fre quent the northern seas from Novava Zemlva and Spitsbergen to the east and west coasts of Greenland. and in win ter they sometimes go as far south as the Mediterranean Sea (Plate IX). It is generally con ceded that the harpoon ers and crews who pur sue Bottlenose Whales in small boats are en- rnotogralln y K. i'. Kandall WHALES SERVE AS FENDERS BETWEEN TWO SHIPS The American floating factory Ulysses (right) discharges whale oil through a hose (top of picture) to the tanker California in Antarctic waters 1,800 miles south-southeast of the Cape of Good Hope, for ship ment to the United States. Floating upside down between the vessels, the carcasses show the bottom grooves of Finbacks and Blue Whales.