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The largest and most powerful creatures on earth are in the whale family. Scientists believe that there are more than 75 species of whales and their smaller relatives, dolphins and porpoises.
Until the 20th century, hunting for whales was considered to be an acceptable and admirable occupation. Only as people look back in time has the industry come regarded as cruel and responsible for the near extinction of many of the great whales. The species of whales most commonly hunted by the American whales during the 1800s included sperm, right, bowhead, gray, humpback and blue whales.