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THE K1GI1T WHALES: MOVKM KYI'S AND KEl'llODUCTlON. 25

cullamach (Chamisso) Cope. Its distribution is not well understood. Dall gives it as
in tin- Arctic. Heriii^, and Okliot.sk Seas, oil' I.oucr California, and, perhaps, in Japan.'

Scaiiiinoii writes iliat in former years they were found on the coast of Oregon, and occasion -
ally in large numbers; but their chief resort was upon what is termed the " Kodiak Ground,"
which . \tcii. Is northwestward from Vancouver's Island to the Aleutian Islands, and westward to
tin- one hundredth and fiftieth meridian. They also abounded in the Okhotsk and Bering Seas,
and along the Kainschai ka coast He supposes that those which have been observed on the coast
of California were stragglers from the north. "Some, indeed," he writes, "have been taken (from
I'Ybniary to April) as far south as the Bay of San Sebastian Viscarrio, and about Cedros, or Cevros,
Island, both places being near the parallel of 29 north latitude; while on the northwestern coast
they are captured by the whalers from April to September inclusive."*

None appear to have been killed on the California coast, within thirty or forty years, if we may
judge from Captain Scamuion's failing to mention such instances.

In the Antarctic Seas and the adjoining waters are other Bight Whales. Eubaltma atuttralit,
the Cape Whale or Black Whale, abounds about the Cape of Good Hope, and is regarded by
M urray as an inhabitant of the South Atlantic, South Pacific, and Indian Oceans. 3 E. antipodarum
was described by Gray from New Zealand, and in Murray's map is designated as a more antarctic
form than the Cape Whale, though in the text of his book he denies that this is known to be a
fact. 1 Owing to the fact that the bowhead and the Eight Whales have until recently been con-
sidered identical, there is a dearth of reliable observations upon habits known to refer definitely
to these animals.

MOVEMENTS. Their manner of feeding and general mode of life are, as might be expected,
very similar to those of the bowhead. I quote from Scammou :

"They are often met with singly in their wanderings, at other times in pairs or triplets, and
scattered over the surface of the water as far as the eye can discern from the masthead. Toward
the last of the season they are seen in large numbers crowded together. The herds are called
' gams,' and they are regarded by experienced whalemen as an indication that the whales will soon
leave the grounds.

"Their manner of respiration is to blow seven to nine times at a 'rising,' then, ' turning flukes'
(elevating them six or eight feet out of the water), they go down and remain twelve or fifteen
minutes. It is remarked, however, since these whales have been so generally pursued, that their
action in this respect has somewhat changed. When frightened by the approach of a boat they
have a trick of hollowing the back, which causes the blubber to become slack, thus preventing the
harpoon from penetrating. Many whales have been missed, owing to the boat-steerer darting at
this portion of the body. Having been chased every successive season for years, these animals have
become very wild and difficult to get near to, especially in calm weather."

REPRODUCTION. The time of gestation is fixed by Scammon at about one year. Twins are
occasionally though rarely born. The time and place of calving is not known, but are supposed to
be variable, as in the case of the sperm whale. These whales are said to resort to the Californian
"bays" to bring forth their young, and formerly were sought fdr in the inland waters of these
high southern latitudes, where many a ship has in past years quickly completed her cargo by "bay
whaling." 5

I>u.i.: Catalogue of the Cetaceans of the North Pacific Ocean. <8cAMMON: Marine Mammalia, p. 305.

-SfVMMiiN : ../.. . i/., ].. 1.7.

'MURRAY: (lengraphical Distribution of Mammals, p. -JO-, map.

4 MURRAY: op. cit.

4 SCAMMON: op. cit., p. 67.



26 THE WHALES AND PORPOISES.

SIZES AND YIELD OF OIL. The following statement of sizes of whales taken by New Bedford
vessels, as indicated by their yield of oil, is very instructive. It was furnished by Capt. Benjamin
Russell, in 1875. There is no means of distinguishing the bowheads from the Eight Whales:

Captain Devot took one Eight Whale off Kodiac; made 290 barrels.

Captain Devot took four Eight Whales off Kodiac; made 920 barrels.

Captain Clark took one Eight Whale off Kamtchatka; made 180 barrels.

Captain Wood took one Eight Whale off Kamtchatka; made 230 barrels.

Captain Eice, of New London, took ten Eight Whales off Kamtchatka; made 700 barrels.

Captain Winston took one Eight Whale off Kamtchatka; made 270 barrels.

Captain Winston took two Eight \Vhales off Kamtchatka ; made 480 barrels.

Captain Spooner took one Eight Whale off Kamtchatka; made 200 barrels.

Captain Cox took one Eight Whale off Kodiac; made 225 barrels.

Captain West took two Eight Whales ; made 508 barrels.

Captain West took thirteen Eight Whales; made 1,780 barrels.

Captain Wood took one Eight Whale; made 280 barrels.

A number of captains report one each, from 80 to 200 barrels.

12. THE HUMPBACK WHALES.

DISTRIBUTION. The Humpback Whales, also often called Bunch Whales by Europeans, occur
in both Atlantic and Pacific. Captain Eoss saw them as far south as latitude 71 50'. In the
Pacific they range to the Arctic Circle, and there is reason to believe that they occur also about
Greenland. Our Atlantic species is Meyaptera osphyui Cope, that of the California region M. vcr-
sabilis. As usual, the inquirer must go to Scammon for accurate observations, little being known
about the species of the Atlantic.

MIGRATIONS. They appear to resort periodically, and with some degree of regularity, to cer-
tain localities where the females bring. forth their young. Scammou found them breeding in July
and August, 1852 and 1853, in the Gulf of Guayaquil, Peru; in December in the Bay of Valle do
Banderas, Mexico, latitude 20 30'; and in May, 1855, at Magdaleua Bay, Lower California, lati-
tude 24 30'. Captain Beckennan observed them at Tongataboo, Friendly Group, latitude 21 south,
longitude 174 west, in August and September. Large numbers of both sexes migrate north in
summer and south in winter.

SIZE. They attain the length of twenty-five to seventy-five feet, and yield from eight to
seventy-five barrels of oil. The largest taken in 1871 by Captain Beckerman was seventy-five
feet long, and produced seventy-three barrels, but the average yield was forty barrels, including
the entrail fat, which amounted to about six barrels. One taken off the bay of Monterey, in 1858,
yielded 145 barrels.

The blubber, according to Bennett, is yellowish-white, five to fifteen inches thick, and the oil is
said to be better than that of the right whale.

The baleen possesses a moderate commercial value. In a specimen fifty-two feet long, Scam-
mon records 540 laminae, the longest two feet eight inches long and nine inches broad, and elsewhere
lie estimates its yield at 400 pounds to 100 barrels of oil. 1

FOOD. Their food consists of fish and crustaceans scooped up at the surface. When feed-
ing they are most easily captured. The time and place of breeding have already been spoken
of. "In the mating season," writes Scammon, "they are noted for their amorous antics. At such
times their caresses are of the most amusing and novel character, and these performances have
doubtless given rise to the fabulous tales of the swordfish and thrashers attacking whales. When

'SCAMMON: of. cit., jip. 40, 41.



TIIK HI Mi'i-.ACK AND mi: si i.i-nci; KOITOM 27

lying In the side of each other, tin- Megaptcra.s frequently administer alternate blows with their
long tins, which love laps may on a still day bo heard at a distant* of miles. They also rub each
oilier with these same huge ami flexible arms, rolling occasionally from side to side, and indulging
in other gambols."

HtMPBACK WHALES IN NEW ENGLAND The Humpback Whale was formerly a frequent
\ isitor to the waters of New England, but of late years has not often been seen. Captain Atwood

tells that a great many have been killed near Provineetown within his recollection: that is to

say, or since 1817. One harpooned in the harbor in 1840 yielded fifty-four barrels of oil. Two
were killed in the spring of 1879, with bomb-lances.

This species is the most valuable of the ordinary whales of the region, though, of course, far
interior to the right whale. In addition to the oil, the baleen or whalebone is of some worth. In
past years it has sold for as much as six and one-quarter cento a pound. It rarely exceeds two
feet in length and is not very elastic. The shore fishery of Cape Cod, which was quite vigorously
prosecuted in the early part of the last century, was probably largely concerned with this specien

In 1ST!) the Humpbacks were abundant on the coast of Maine. One of the most successful
whalers out of Provineetown this season is the "Brilliant," a very old pink-stern schooner of
seventeen tons, which had been hunting this species off Deer Isle, Maine. Up to September 1, she
had taken four whales, yielding one hundred and forty-five barrels. The "Brilliant" .carries but
one whale-boat ami t lies out. the oil upon shore, towing in the whales as they are killed. On
the 14th of May, 1881, twenty Humpbacks were shot with bomb-lances in Provincetowu harbor.

"The Humpback," says Douglass, of the New England whales, in 1748, "has a bunch in the
same part of his back, instead of a fin. The bone is not good; makes fifty to sixty barrels oil."

The oil of the Humpbacks is said by Bennett to be sui>erior to that from the right whale, and
but little less valuable than sperm oil.

13. THE SULPHUR-BOTTOM WHALES.

DISTRIBUTION AND MOVEMENTS. The Sulphur-bottom Whale of the Pacific coast, SibbaMhw
HiilfureiHt Cope, is said to be the largest known cetacean. 1 Its name and that of its related Atlan-
tic species, 8. borealix ( Fischer) Geoffroy, is derived from a yellowish tint upon the white belly.
The Atlantic Sulphur-bottom, which is also called by English whalers the "Flat Back," does not
grow to the immense si/e characteristic of the Pacific form. In the Atlantic, the Sulphur-bottom
is not uncommon, though rarer than the humpback and finback. On the coast of the Califor-
nias, writes Scammou, it occurs at all seasons, and from May to September is often found in large
numbers close in with the shore, at times playing about ships at anchor in the open roadsteads, near
islands or capes, but, as a general rule, not approaching vessels with the same boldness as the
finbacks. It glides over the surface of the ocean, occasionally displaying its entire length. When
it respires its vaporous breath ascends to such a height that its immense size is evident to the
observer. It is occasionally captured with a bomb-lance, but never except by aid of the bomb-
lance. Being considered the swiftest of all whales, it is seldom pursued, and still more rarely
taken.

The Sulphur- bottom of the Atlantic resembles the finbacks in shape and habits, and is probably
often confounded with them by those who see it swimming. Captain Atwood informs me that
none have been seen near Provineetown of late years. Professor Baird obtained a fine skeleton
at Nautucket in 1875 (No. 16039, U. 8. N. M.). Captain Atwood writes: "Like the finback, it

'Captain Horn, quoted by Scanimon. gives the following memoranda of an individual ineatmreincnt by him:
Length, ninrty-lhr feet : ^irth, thirty-nine feet ; length of jaw-bone, twenty-one feet : length of longest baleen, four
feet; yield of baleen, 800 pounds; yield of oil, 110 barrels; weight of whole animal by calculation, 294,000 pounds.



28 THE WHALES AND PORPOISES.

lias on its back a very small dorsal fin. Being very much elongated, it is a swift runner and hurries
through the water with a velocity so great that the whaleman cannot kill them in the same way
that they take the other species. I have never seen it dead and kuow but little about it." 1

14. THE FINBACK WHALES.

DISTRIBUTION. The Finback Whales of the Atlantic, Sibbaldius tectirostris Cope, and S.
tuberosits Cope, are closely related to the sulphur-bottoms. The former is the most common of
the larger cetaceans in Massachusetts Bay, and half a dozen or more may be seen in an afternoon's
cruise any sunny afternoon of summer. They become abundant in the Gulf of Maine soon after
the beginning of April. They swim near the surface, often exposing the back for half its length,
and I have several times seen them rise within fifty feet of the yacht on which I stood. Septem-
ber 12, 1879, four were swimming and spouting in Provincetown Harbor.

The skeleton obtained by the Fish Commission in 1875 (No. 16045, U. S. N. M.) belongs to
the species whose name heads this paragraph. The Museum of Comparative Zoology also has a
specimen, taken at Provincetown, forty-seven feet long, which yielded eighty barrels and fourteen
gallons of oil.

MOVEMENTS. Captain Atwood tells us that Finbacks are rapid swimmers and are not often
attacked by the whalers. They "run" so hard that the boats "cannot tow to them," and it is
impossible to get up to them to lance them. They sometimes strand on the shore, and of late years
a few are occasionally killed with a bomb-lance in the spring. One was lanced one autumn, about
the year 1868, by boats pursuing blackfish. It was sixty feet long, and made about twenty barrels
of oil. The "bone" is shorter than that of the humpback, and is of little value. 2 When lanced,
not being oily enough to float at once, they sink and remain at the bottom for a few days, during
which time much of the blubber is eaten off by sharks. They yield very little oil.

ABUNDANCE IN NEW ENGLAND. Two ran ashore some years ago in Provincetown Harbor,
one of which yielded fourteen, the other twenty barrels of oil. One killed at Provincetown, though
fifty-four feet long and a good fat whale of its kind, yielded only twenty barrels of oil. 3

THE DUBERTUS. An interesting question regarding the name by which this whalo was
known in the early days of the American colonies has recently been discussed.

The charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, granted in 1663 by Cbarles II,
provides, among more important rights and privileges:

"And ffurther, for the encouragement of the inhabitants of our sayd collouy of Providence
Plantations to sett upon the businesse of takeing whales, itt shall bee laweftill ft'or them, or any
of them, having struck whale, DUBERTUS or other greate flBsh, itt or them to pursue unto any parte
of that coaste, and into any bay, river, cove, creeke or shoare belonging thereto, and itt or them
upon the sayd coaste, or in the sayd bay, cove, creeke or shoare belonging thereto, to kill and order
to the best advantage, without molestation, they makeing noe wilfull waste or spoyle, anything
in these presents conteyned, or any other matter or thing, to the contrary notwithstanding."

1 IJulli'tiii Musi-inn Comparative Zoology, vol. viii, p. 204.

*A large Finback Whalo, forty feet in length, got aground on tlie flats near tlio light-house at Wellflcet, ou
Wi'dnrsday, l>y the fall of the tide, and ho was killed by cutting a hole in him and then using an oar as a spade.
When the tide i* out people can walk around the whale. Semi-Weekly Advertiser, Boston, February, 27, 1872.

On the 2d of May, 1828, a whale was cast ashore at Whale Reach, Swampecott, measuring sixty fret in length, and
twenty-five barrels of oil were extracted from it. LEWIS & NEWHALI, : History of Lynn, p. 3!)1.

1755. A whalo, seventy-five feet in length, was landed on King's Reach, on the 9th of December. Dr. Henry
I !n ri-1 nt I'd rode into its mouth, in a chaise drawn by a horse ; and afterwards had two of his bones set up for gate-
posts at his honso in Essex street, whore they stood for more than fifty years. [Opposite the doctor's house, the cot
of Moll Pitcher, the celebrated fortune-teller, stood. And many were the sly inquiries from strangers for the place
where the big whale-bones were to be seen.] Ibid., p. 330.

'Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, vol. viii, p. 204, and in letters.



TiirMP.ru. n\< T.i;\l\<; Itl'liKKTUS. 29

In answer to a letter of inquiry from Profess.tr Kami, I'n.t.-ssui Tniuiliiill wrote as follows:

HARTFORD, February 1, 1880.

Di. \u I'uoi i.ssni; p, \n:i>: Vour query of January 29 just now comes to hand. Isn't tli:it
troublesome Dubcrtux rlui<linsnli'nsi>t satisfactorily disposed of yet t More than twenty one years
ago (iii November. Is.'iSj the Kev. S. C. Newman, of Pawtucket, questioned Professor Agassi?, on
the snbjcet. His reply \v;is. that having looked in the only work in which ho snpjtosed the desin-d
information was likely to be Ibiuiil N.-mnich's Pollyglottcn Lexicon he could only say that it did
not e\eii eontain tlie name I >ul>rrtus." The correspondence, so far unsatisfactory, was printed in
the " Providence- Journal," December 9. The next day the Hon. Albert (1. (iivi-ne wrote to the
''.Journal" that "before and at the time of the granting of the charter of Rhode Island, ' DuhertiiH'
was the word used to distinguish the uperm whale from the common or right whale," and referred
for Ins authority to the description given by Sir Thomas Browne "of the spermaceti whale,"
whieh "mariners (who arc not the best nouienclators) called a Jubartas, or rather Gibbartas." Mr.
(lieene eame ver.v near being right, and undoubtedly teas right in identifying the "Dubertus" of
the charter with the ".luharias" or "Gibbartas" of the old whale fishermen; but he was wrong on
the main point that either "Jubartiis" or "Dubertus" was a distinctive name of the sperm whale,
except by a 'vulgar error" of the Norfolk mariners, who, as Sir Thomas Browne understood, "are
not the best nomeiiclators." The ".Jnhartas, r "Cibhartus," or "Gubartas" as the name which, by
an error of the engrossing clerk, appears as "Dubertus" in the llhode Island charter, was
\arionsly written by naturalists in the seventeenth century was a Finback, the " Balwna Nova
A Hi/lite" as Klein calls it, the " Jupiterrisch'" of the Dutch whalers, Balecnoptera Jubartes of
Laecpede. (The last name I heard for it was, I think, Sibbaldius tubcrosus ; but this was a year
or two ago, and it may have been rechristened a dozen times since then.) The name, however, has
been applied to more than one species of Finback, for naturalists, when dealing with cetacea, were
not, in the last century, much better "nomenclatora" than the English mariners ; but it has always
been restricted to the Balamopteridee, and has never designated any species of either tperm or
riyht whales.

The history of the name is cnrions. Rondelet ("De Piscibus"lib. xvi, p. 482) gives a figure of
a liahena Vera" (drawn from life, he says) which "the whale fishers of Saintonge call Gibbar, a
Gibbero Dorso, that is, raised in a hnrnp, on which is the fin." From this provincial name came
(iHibui-tiis. <!nhnrtnx, Jiibart, Jubarten, Jupiter, and half a dozen other corruptions, introduced first
among mariners, and afterwards adopted or recognized as synonyms by naturalists, and distributed
among three or four different species.

Laco"pede, under Balasnoptera Jubartex, includes Bafona boops (Gmelin), and " probably the
sulphur-bottom of the west coast of North America," the Jubartes of Klein, and the Jupiter Finch,
described by Anderson, as well as Baleine Jubarte of Bonnaterre (Encyc. M<$th.).

Klein ("Misc.Pisc.^" 11, 13) says that the whale catchers have corrupted the name of the Jupiter,
or I'iscis Jovis, to Jubartes, which is reversing the actual process of corruption. He calls this the
"Whale of New England."

Anderson, cited by Lace"pede, in "Nachrichten von Island, Gronland, etc.," p. 220, describes " the
Jupiter or Jnpiterfisch " as a kind of fin-fish, saying that its name, without doubt, comes from that
of Gubartes or Gibbartas, which has been given it by others, and which is itself a corruption of
the Miseayan (iiblmi;

Bnt Laclpede makes " Battrna nodosa," "Humpback Whale of the English," and Balcena
gibbosaf the Whitlcs of New England, and refers to Bopnaterre. who separates le Gibbar, EngL
Fintish, from la Jubarte B. boops. Between Gibbar and Gibbosa, Jupiter and Gubartvs, the things
get rather mixed.



30 TOE WHALES AND PORPOISES.

Cranz, in bis history of Greenland (Engl. trausl., vol. i, p. 110) describes "the Jupiter Whale,
which the Spanish whale fishers call more properly Gubartas, or Gibbar, from a protuberance,
gibbero, which grows towards the tail, besides the flu."

Returning to the "Dubertus" of the charter, Senator Anthony will see how easy it was for an
engrossing clerk to mistake the initial "G," in seventeenth century chancery-hand, for a "D," in an
unfamiliar name. A more troublesome mistake was made by the engraver of the seal of the
Massachusetts Bay Company, which obliged Governor Winthrop always to describe himself, in
official papers, as governor of the Company of Mattachusetts Bay, etc.

J. HAMMOND TRUMBULL.

THE PACIFIC FINBACK. The Finback of the Pacific, Balamoptera velifera Cope, also called
the Oregon Finner, is common in Oregon and California, and is the rival of the sulphur-bottom in
swiftness. Like the Atlantic Finbacks, it can be taken only with the bomb gun. Scammon gives
the measurements of an individual sixty feet long which came ashore near the Golden Gate. He
states that enormous quantities of codfish -have been found in their stomachs. "The habitual
movements of the Finback in several points are peculiar. When it respires, the vaporous breath
passes quickly through its spiracles, and when a fresh supply of air is drawn into the breathing^
system, a sharp and somewhat musical sound may be heard at a considerable distance, which is
quite distinguishable from that of other whales of the same genus. (We have observed the intervals
between the respirations of a large Finback to be about seven seconds.) It frequently gambols
about vessels at sea, in mid-ocean, as well as close in with the coast, darting under them, or shoot-
ing swiftly through the water on either side; at one moment upon the surface, belching forth its
quick, ringing spout, and the next instant submerging itself beneath the waves as if enjoying a
spirited race with the ship darting along under press of sail. Occasionally they congregate in
schools of fifteen to twenty or less." '

"An instance occurred in Monterey Bay in 1865, of five being captured; a 'pod' of whales
was seen in the offing, from their shore station, by the whalemen, who immediately gave chase.
One was harpooned, and, although it received a mortal wound, they all 'run together' as before.
One of the gunners managed to shoot the whole five, and they were all secured.

"A Finback sixty-five feet long yielded seventy-five barrels of oil. The blubber was clear
white, seven to nine inches thick. The largest baleen measured twenty-eight inches in length,
thirteen in width, and was provided with a long fringe." 2

Another related form, the Sharp-headed Finner, B. Damdsonii Scammon, has habits similar to
the Finback, but frequents more northern waters, where it is sometimes taken by the Indians of
Cape Flattery.

15. THE SCRAG WHALE.

HISTORY OF THK SCRAG WHALE. The Hon. Paul Dudley, writing in 1809 of the whales of
New England, remarked upon a certain kind in these words: "A Scrag Whgle: Is near akin to the
Fin Back, but instead of a fin upon its back, the ridge of the after part of its back is scragged with
half a dozen knobs or knuckles. He is nearest the right whale in figure and quantity of oil. His
bone is white but won't split." 3

Atwood also writes: "A species of whale known by this name, nearly allied to if not identical
with the right whale, is sometimes taken here. It is the opinion of many of our whalemen that
they are not a distinct species, but the young right whale that lost its mother while very young,



1 SCAMMON: op. nil., p. 35.
* SCAMMON: op. oil., jj. :54.
'DUDLEY, PAUL: Philosophical Transactions, xxxiii, 1809, p. 2f>9.



Tin: sriiAc AND Tin: ii:vn. I.'ISIL 31

and grew up witl t parental ran-, which lias caused a slight modification. Tin- HM.M prniiiinoiit

feature is that in its dorsal ridge, near tin- tail, there are a number of small projections or hunches,
having sonic resemblance to the teeth of a saw. It has no dorsal fin or hump on its hack." 1

Douglass, writing in 1748, also mentioned the Scrag and the humps upon its body.

Cope has formed for this whale the genus Agaphclus, and it stands in the lists under the name
Agujihilim i/iliboxtix [Krxl.| Cope.



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