Friday, May 25, 2012

Whales Have a Sensory Organ Unlike Anything Ever Seen

The biggest of the baleen whales are known as rorqual whales, a group that includes humpback whales, fin whales and, of course, the blue whale — the largest animal to ever live. Scientists have discovered a grapefruit-sized mass of vessels and nervous tissues located in whales' chins, and they believe it's an entirely new kind of sensory organ. It's possible the organ is what allows these massive creatures to eat using a lightning-fast mouth movement called "lunge feeding."

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