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Baleen

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Baleen

(Science: zoology) plates or blades of whalebone, from two to twelve feet long, and sometimes a foot wide, which in certain whales (Balaenoidea) are attached side by side along the upper jaw, and form a fringelike sieve by which the food is retained in the mouth.

Origin: f. Baleine whale and whalibone, L. Balaena a whale; cf. Gr.