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Any of dozens of species of exclusively aquatic mammals found in oceans, seas, rivers, and estuaries worldwide but especially numerous in the Antarctic Ocean. Whales are commonly distinguished from the smaller porpoises and dolphins and sometimes from narwhals, but they are all cetaceans. See alsobaleen whale; toothed whale.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on whale, visit Britannica.com.