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The Cape Lookout (N. C.) skeleton, the Cape Cod (Mass.) skeleton in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, and that in the Field Columbian Museum, have sterna closely resembling that of the Taranto skeleton (pl. 46, figs. 3 and 4), or rudely heart-shaped, but the skeleton in the American Museum, New York, has the sternum quite different from any of the foregoing (text fig. 87), being cruciform, like the sterna of some specimens of Balænoptera physalus L. One might almost believe that it did not belong to the skeleton to which it is attached.

Considering the diversity of form in the sternum of the Finbacks, we need not be surprised at the lack of conformity among the various specimens of the Nordcaper. The sternum in these animals is of little service in discriminating closely allied species.

In the Taranto (Italy) skeleton the sternum is 18 cm. high, 21 cm. wide ; in Guldberg's Iceland skeleton, No. 1, 46 cm. high, 37.5 cm. wide; in the Cape Lookout (N. C.) skeleton at Raleigh, 30 cm. high, 38 cm. wide.


The scapula of the Nordcaper has a peculiar and characteristic shape, which is quite well shown in Gasco's figure of the Taranto whale (47, pl. 6, fig. 8). The glenoid, or posterior border, is evenly concave from the glenoid fossa half-way to

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Fig. 88.-LONG ID., New York. (AMER. Mus. Nat. Hist.) (FROM A PHOTO.) Fig. 89.-Ditto. (Field COLUMB. Mus.) Fig. 90.Ditto. (U. S. Nat. Mus.) Fig. 91.-CHARLESTON, S. C. (FROM A PHOTO.) Fig. 92. TYPE OF B. CISARCTICA. (OBLIQUE VIEW, FROM A PHOTO.) Fig. 93.–TARANTO, ITALY. (From Gasco.)

the suprascapular border, but distally becomes nearly straight. The suprascapular border is regularly convex; the coracoid, or anterior, border, is short and nearly straight, but presents near the juncture with the suprascapular border a tubercle which causes a convexity in the outline. The acromion is large, and directed outward or downward. The shape of the anterior and posterior borders is very

char. acteristic of the species. Among American specimens this peculiar form is found well developed in the type of B.cisarctica Cope, at Philadelphia, in the Amagansett (N. Y.) skeleton in the National Museum (No. 23077), in the Charleston skeleton, in the skeleton in the Field Columbian Museum, Chicago; and less well defined in the Long Id. (N. Y.) skeleton in the American Museum of Natural History. Holder's figure of the scapula of this skeleton is taken at an angle and does not, therefore, show the true shape. (See text figs. 88 to 93; also pl. 45, figs. 2–5.)

The following are actual measurements of the greatest breadth and height of the scapula in various American and European specimens:

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A scapula from a partial skeleton found at Beaufort, North Carolina, has, according to Mr. R. L. Garner, a breadth of 51 inches. The Raleigh Museum skeleton, which is as large as the Christiania skeleton No. 2, is, unfortunately, without the scapulæ. Cope recorded in 1868 that there was in the museum of Rutgers College, New Brunswick, N. J., a scapula 484 in. broad and 36 in. high. He estimated that this indicated an individual 57 feet long, but in view of the dimensions given in the foregoing table this appears improbable.'


Gasco gives (47, 40) the following formula for the Taranto skeleton, I, 0 ? ; II, 4; III, 5; IV, 3; V, 3. Professor Rios y.Rial also gives a formula for the Guetaria skeleton, but it appears to be entirely hypothetical. See table on p. 255.

· Type of B. cisarctica. See Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., 1868, p. 194, where a few other remarks regarding the present species are made.



In none of the American specimens do the phalanges appear to be in their natural positions, and in several of the skeletons a considerable number are lost. It is impracticable, therefore, to give a reliable formula, but the following are taken from mounted specimens in the American museums :

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The foregoing discussion of European and American specimens of the Nordcaper, or Black whale, leads to the following general statements and conclusions:

1. Specimens from the two sides of the Atlantic are alike in size.

2. The external proportions, so far as can be ascertained from the scant data available, show very considerable variability, but the variations are indefinite and give no ground for separating the American from the European specimens. It is probable that much of the apparent variability is due to inaccurate measurements.

3. The whalebone in the largest American specimen is of the same length as the largest Iceland whalebone.

4. The majority of both European and American specimens are uniform black throughout.

5. The number of ribs and vertebræ is the same in specimens from both sides of the Atlantic. The vertebral formula is the same, except that American speci. mens appear to have normally 11 lumbars, while European specimens, according to Guldberg and Gasco, have 12 lumbars normally. The reasons why this difference cannot be regarded as having the importance it would at first appear to have are given on page 251.

6. The points in the vertebral column at which the processes of the vertebræ become obsolete are the same in both American and European specimens, but the data in relation to the latter are meagre.

7. Photographs of the skull of the Long Id., New York, skeleton in the National Museum agree very closely indeed with Gasco's figures of the skull of the Taranto (Italy) skeleton, in which the outlines are also from photographs. On

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the other band, the measurements of the various skulls show considerable discrepancies. These do not, however, tend to divide the skulls into two groups, according to locality. In this connection it is necessary to bold in mind that the majority of the skulls are those of young individuals.

8. The length of the first rib is the same in European and American skele. tons of equal size. The breadth of the first rib at the distal end is variable in both series of specimens, and often differs much on the two sides of the body in the same specimen.

9. The sternum is variable in shape, with no constant difference between European and American specimens.

10. The scapula has the same characteristic form in both European and American specimens.

While there are many points regarding the Nordeaper that need to be further investigated, there is at present, so far as can be ascertained from the material available, no valid reason for separating the American from the European specimens as distinct species.



It has seemed to me desirable to sum up again, as did Holder in 1893, the opinions of cetologists regarding the relationship of “B. biscayensis” to B. cisarctica.

It is well known that several systematic writers of the eighteenth century, following for the most part the more or less indefinite statements of Zorgdrager and Martens, distinguished two species of northern Right whales, the Greenland or Spitzbergen whale and the Nordcaper. The story of the union of these species by Cuvier and their subsequent separation by Eschricht is familiar to every cetologist. Cuvier was, of course, acquainted with the fact that the Basques pursued Right whales on both sides of the North Atlantic, but as he regarded all whales of the genus Balæna in these waters as forming one species, any critical consideration on his part of differences between those of the western and those of the easttern Atlantic was precluded.

A principal object of the researches of Eschricht upon the northern Right whales was the demonstration of the correctness of the suspicions which he entertained as early as 1840 that the Nordcaper was specifically distinct from the Greenland Right whale, but he did not have under special consideration at any time the question of the identity of American specimens of the former species with those from the European coasts. Indeed, so far as I am aware, there were no American specimens of B. biscayensis in European museums in his day. : Nevertheless, in the work Om

See Eschricht and REINHARDT, “Om Nordhvalen," Videns. Selsk. Skr., 5 Rekke, naturvidens. og math. Afd., 5 Bd., 1861, p. 479, foot-note 5. * See Comptes Rendus, 1860. Separate, p. 2.

See GASCO, “Intorno alla Balena presa in Taranto, Atti R. Ac ad. Napoli, 1877, P. Separate, 1878, pp. 12-13.

Nordhvalen, published in conjunction with Prof. Reinhardt in 1861, he mentions the “ Nordcaper” as “probably the same species as that from the coasts of Nantucket and New England which the Anglo-Americans already call ‘Right whale.' ” 1

The question was first forced on the attention of cetologists in 1865, when Cope published the description of his B. cisarctica (22, 168). Cope did not examine the San Sebastian skeleton on which B. biscayensis was based, but remarks regarding his B. cisarctica as follows: “This species may readily occur on the European coasts, and is, no doubt, allied to, or the same as, the species pursued by the Biscay whalers, which Eschricht says is related to the australis. This does not appear to have been described, though catalogued without reference by Gray and Flower under the name of biscayensis (22, 169).” It is stated by Cope, however, that he did study the skeleton of B. australis in the Jardin des Plantes, and that his species is “strongly separated ” from that form.

Van Beneden in 1867 quotes Cope's opinion as to the probable identity of the B. cisarctica with the Biscay whale, and remarks that Cope holds this view “avec beaucoup de raison.” He also adds: “It is then from America that we should hear the facts regarding the history of this animal which during centuries visited our [European] coasts, and which has contributed largely to the prosperity of our hardy neighbors of the North (the Dutch, etc.]” (3, sep. 8).

In his memoir on the Taranto whale, Gasco remarks in 1878: “Although so brief, the summary reported by Prof. Cope on the whale captured opposite Philadelphia in 1862 leaves no doubt as to the determination of the Taranto whale. They are counterparts (sorelle); both belong to Balæna biscayensis Eschricht (47). The same statement is repeated in the Comptes Rendus Acad. Paris, 87, 1887, p. 410. He also states that he compared a replica of a cast of the earbone of the type of B. cisarctica belonging to the Civic Museum of Milan with that of the Taranto whale and found that they were identical (47, 25).

In 1879, Gasco published a description of the type of B. biscayensis." He appears to take for granted the identity of that species with B. cisarctica, and in the course of his article, quotes a conversation with Cope, whom he met in Paris. Cope is reported as saying that the Philadelphia whale (type of B. cisarctica) exactly resembles that of Tarento (B. biscayensis ") (48, 581, footnote 2).

The Ostéographie of Van Beneden and Gervais, which bears the date of 1880, does not contain as much original matter regarding the Atlantic Right whale as is the case with other species. The authors state that they examined neither the type of “ B. biscayensis” nor that of B. cisarctica, but that they “ do not doubt” that the two species are identical (8, 103). Later in the same work they remark: “This whale [B. cisarctica] is no other than the Balæna biscayensis” (8, 236).

In 1883, Holder summed up the opinions regarding the affinities of B. biscayensis and B. cisarctica (61, 117). He includes the opinions of most of the authors above cited and adds some independent testimony. Among these addi

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