Science: First & Worst

More than a quarter-century ago a fine big female specimen of the Atlantic right whale (Balaena glacialis) disported herself in the grey winter water near the tip of Long Island. Fifty-four feet long, she was accompanied by her 38-ft. infant, which she paused now & then to suckle. The mother's great head was nearly all mouth, and the vast cavern between her jaws was curtained with hundreds of flat, flexible blades of whalebone. When she was hungry she sounded, swam with mouth agape through shoals of plankton (tiny sea organisms) until the...

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