Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/76

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By Linnæus, the whale is called Balæna, a name derived from a Greek word expressive of the great power it possesses to cast up water. It forms a genus of the class Mammalia, and order Cete; and, although it is an inhabitant of the water, it is classed with the quadrupeds, which it resembles in suckling its young, in breathing air, and in having warm blood and flesh composed of animal substance, as well as in being also furnished with lungs, and with other parts of a similar structure to those of land animals.

The Balæna Mysticetus, the Greenland whale, has no fin upon its back; the head is one third the size of the fish; the lips are quite smooth, and very elastic and the under one much broader than the upper, turning in this form ~ and ending before the fins; the under side of the lower lip is beautifully white, and has small black spots, from each of which grows a single hair; the eyes are placed just above the end of the upper lip, and in size do not exceed those of an ox; they are very bright, and well calculated to see in the medium, through which the light has to pass: they consist of a crystalline lens, not larger than a pea, and are guarded by lids and brows, like human eyes: the organs of hearing are placed behind the eyes: they are most minute circular orifices, without any projecting external appendages, which might embarrass the animal in its natural element, each having an auditory canal about the size of a quill, leading to the seat of hearing; but it does not possess that sense in an ex-