• WordNet 3.6
    • n rorqual any of several baleen whales of the family Balaenopteridae having longitudinal grooves on the throat and a small pointed dorsal fin
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Rorqual (Zoöl) A very large North Atlantic whalebone whale (Physalus antiquorum, or Balænoptera physalus). It has a dorsal fin, and strong longitudinal folds on the throat and belly. Called also razorback.☞ It is one of the largest of the whales, somethimes becoming nearly one hundred feet long, but it is more slender than the right whales, and is noted for its swiftness. The name is sometimes applied to other related species of finback whales.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n rorqual A finner-whale of the genus Balænoptera, having short flippers, a dorsal fin, and the throat plicated. There are several species, and the name is sometimes extended to other cetaceans of the subfamily Balænopterinæ. Some of these whales attain great size, the common rorqual, B. musculus, reaching a length of 60 or 70 feet, while the blue rorqual, B. sibbaldi or Sibbaldius maximus, is sometimes 80 feet, being thus the longest known mammal. Rudolphi's rorqual, B. borealis, is about 50 feet long; the lesser rorqual, B. rostrata, 30 feet. These four are well-established species in North Atlantic waters, though their synonymy has been much confused by the introduction and cross-use of various generic names. The sulphur-bottomed whale of the Pacific is a rorqual, B. sulphurea.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Rorqual ror′kwal a genus of whales of the largest size.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Norw. rorqualus, a whale with folds
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Sw. rörhvalrör, round, hval, whale.


In literature:

It was a large rorqual, and he at once sent word by a messenger to Flosi in Vik and to the nearest farms.
"Grettir The Strong" by Unknown
Whales were frequently seen, both rorquals and killers.
"The Home of the Blizzard" by Douglas Mawson
Another visitor, the Rorqual, is not welcomed by the fishermen.
"Within the Deep" by R. Cadwallader Smith
The ulna and radius in the rorquals are also comparatively longer than in the baleen whales.
"Natural History of the Mammalia of India and Ceylon" by Robert A. Sterndale
In this specimen they were about 4 inches in length, but of as many feet in the large Rorqual.
"Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society - Vol. 3" by Various
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
C.; common rorqual, 35.4 deg.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 5, Slice 7" by Various
The Rorqual has a stomach with as few compartments as any.
"The Cambridge Natural History, Vol X., Mammalia" by Frank Evers Beddard