Marine Mammals

GRAY WHALE

gray-whale
Written by mrhusev

The gray whale has a darker gray skin, more or less speckled and encrusted with barnacles. Dorsal fin situated two-thirds of the body from the mouth to atrophied and protrudes in the form of a bump. A series of more or less marked protuberances appear between the dorsal fin and the caudal fin. The tail is broad and robust, and the swim fin is extended. The pectoral fins are small and spear-shaped. Its head is only about one-sixth to one-fifth of the total length of the body, is significant, narrow and triangular, slightly curved at the top, and the mouth, with about 160 baleen plates of 65 cm, is elongated and bent downwards. Its vents are placed in a V-shape on the back of the head.

OrderCetacea
Sub-orderMysticeti
FamilyEschrichtiidae
GenusEschrichtius
Size12 to 15 meters
Weight26 to 40 tons
Lifespan40 years
Habitat and distributionopen North Pacific Ocean, missing in the Atlantic Ocean
Conservation statusMinor Concern

The gray whale can dive to a depth of 120 meters but generally prefers to many lagoons where it can probe the bottom in search of food. It is a highly migratory whale that lives in cold seas in summer when it restocks its blubber reserves, and winters in the south for the breeding and calving season. Its principal area of reproduction is off the coast of Mexico, but it spends the summer about 10,000 km away, at the edge of the Arctic Ocean.
The grey whale was called ” devil’s whale” by whalers because the female ferociously protected her baby by attacking boats and sometimes breaking them.

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