gray whale facts
Here the females will bear their young in bays and shallow lagoons off southeastern Florida. Gray whales seem to use quite different habitats—one for mating—the other one for calving. The Book of Whales. A professional writer and a passionate wildlife enthusiast, who is mostly found hooked to his laptop or in libraries researching about the wildlife. & Zerbini, A.N. The primary reason was whaling. Grey whales can carry over 400 pounds of barnacles and whale … Its ancestors first appeared around 30 million years before. The adult female averages 46 ft (14 m) in length and weighs up to 70,000 lb (32,000 kg). Compared to most baleen whales, gray whales are rather small, growing to be only about 45 feet long. The migrating whales do not travel in groups except when mothers are with their young. Find a variety of free classroom activities that will keep your students engaged and excited to learn about animals. Gray whales earned the nickname "devil fish" because of their aggressive reactions when harpooned. An adult gray whale might weight as much as 40 tons. Gray Whale Facts. Many calves will probably reach the length of 18–19 ft (5.5–6 m) by the end of winter. Eschrichtiidae: Gray Whale Family There is a single species in this family, which is in some ways intermediate between the rorqual and right whales, the other 2 baleen whale families. They are a type of baleen whale, which means they filter food from the water through special bristly structures in their mouths. The male gray whale can reach 45 feet, while the female can reach 50 feet and weigh 30 or 35 tons. Balcomb, Kenneth C., Larry Foster and Stanley Minasian. It is gray or black, mottled with white, and has short yellow baleen In celebration of this astounding feat, here are 12 more cool facts about the whale known to scientists as Eschrichtius robustus: Adult grey whales can be as long as 15 metres and weigh up to 35 tonnes. While most other baleen whales filter feed in the water, Gray Whales go down to the bottom and plog the sea floor. The gray whale is the only living member of the baleen whale family Eschrichtiidae. NOAA Fisheries – Gray Whale Species Profile. US Dept. The female whales with their calves tend to go farther than those traveling alone. Gray whale’s ‘blow’ hardly rises ten feet above the water surface however the blow of a blue whale goes way too high. Living in the North Pacific, gray whales are known for the double blow holes atop their head. Females give birth to 4.9 m (16 ft.) calves in the warm, shallow lagoons of Baja. Born without a blubber layer, babies need warmer waters. Gray Whale: Quick Facts. Gray whales are primarily known for their migration and feeding in shallow waters. The series forms a ‘dorsal ridge’. From fun and affordable field trips for students to amazing summer adventures, our camps combine education and entertainment in a way that connects people to the sea and sea life like nowhere else. New York: Smithsonian Books, 1984. The whales swim at a speed of 4.4–5.6 mph (7–9 km/h), but are able to attain 8 mph (13 km/h). It reaches a length of 14.9 meters (49 ft), a weight of up to 41 tonnes (90,000 lb) and lives between 55 and 70 years, although one female was estimated to be 75–80 years of age. Saving the Gray Whale: People, Politics, and Conservation in Baja California. The traveling continues all year-round. Eschrichtius robustus. Go behind-the-scenes to see how our trainers care for and interact with these amazing animals, and get up close with some finned, flippered, or feathered friends. They are likely to mate during migration but courtship or mating can occur when they’re about to reach their breeding place, lagoons. Unlike most other baleen whales, gray whales seem to have a series of 8 to 14 bumps on their back. Gray whales catch their prey from sea floor. They hunt seabed creatures by rolling over on one side then swimming slowly along sucking up sediment and the small creatures that live in it. The long distance travellers. Find quick information and fun facts with these 1-page easy resources about animals from A to Z. At SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, we extend our commitment to the environment beyond our company by supporting a variety of conservation groups and programs. Gray whales have a hump and a ridge of sharp bumps along their backs, instead of a dorsal fin. They spend these months in the freezing Arctic waters. They are believed to be able to dive up to 120 m (395 ft.) and swim up to 15 kph (33 mph). They then sieve out the water and silt … As its name implies, the whale’s body is a mottled gray coloration. They consume amphipods and are likely to eat small crustaceans and shrimp which they can easily find in burrows on the ocean floor. The whale dives down and rolls to the right side and eat take in a mouthful of soft sediment and water. However, scientists say the lice and barnacles do not harm the whale, and it is possible they may actually helpthe whale by feeding off of dead skin, which the whale needs to get rid of. The gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), also known as the grey whale, gray back whale, Pacific gray whale, or California gray whale, is a baleen whale that migrates between feeding and breeding grounds yearly. On its throat, there are two (rarely more) longitudinal grooves. Gray whales are sharp enough to detect their enemies (orcas) by their vocalizations. At times, they do change their course of traveling to hide into the beds of kelp. The dive lasts for 4 – 5 minutes and their deepest dive ever recorded is at a depth of 248 ft (75.6 m). Although the remaining populations of gray whale were thought to be relatively isolated from each other, recent data shows that at least some of the whales in the western population actually migrate all the way round the rim of the Pacific and down to Mexico. Turning on its side, a gray whale gulps great mouthfuls of silt, strains out water and mud through its baleen, and swallows bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Baleen whales do not have teeth but rather they are equipped with 100s of baleen plates and keratin bristles. Each year the adult gray whale consumes as much as 65 tons (59 tonnes). NMFS-AFSC-103. Gray whales migrate towards the northern Pacific Coast during summer where they are able to feed on amphipods. The pregnant whales are going to store calories enough to make long-distance southward migration in summer. This whale species has the least amount of baleen, approximately 130 baleen strips on each side of jaw. Gray Whale Facts & Tidbits These whales range in size up to 14.9 m in length and weigh around 36,000 kg. They will find their breeding habitats close to the shore typically within 1.9 to 3.1 mi (3–5 km) of land. Gray whales never make complex vocalizations. Below are 15 fun facts about whales, proving that these creatures are a wonder of nature. Gray Whale Facts & History: Three Gray whales in Magdalena Bay, Mexico Gray whales are a member of the group of whales known as baleen whales. Browse our extensive collection of zoological career infobooks including animal training, animal rescue and rehabilitation and zoo careers. That means that one gray whale weighs more than 5 full-grown African elephants! Prominent among the amphipods is. Gray Whale Description. December 10, 2000. Now these calves have learnt to run off their predators. Several key laws protect baleen whales, such as gray whales. Come face-to-face with the wonders of wildlife through species-focused episodes and related classroom activities. They are twice the size of orcas. The Mysticeti whales have baleen instead of teeth. Gray whales make the longest migration of any mammal. Gray whales are known to migrate more than 10,000 km (6,000 miles) each way. However during migration they will eat very little. Come with us on an unforgettable journey behind the scenes during a SeaWorld or Busch Gardens Camp. The tail flukes measure 9 feet across and weighs up to 400 pounds. The average adult grey whale grows between 44-48ft long but can reach up to 50ft and weigh as much as 80,000lbs, which is the equivalent to that of 4-5 elephants! San Diego: Thunder Bay Press, 1998. 1. A 3-4 week clerkship for veterinary students wanting to augment their knowledge and experience in non-domestic animal medicine. The whale’s milk contains 6 times the protein of human milk. The gray whale (grey whale, Eschrichtius robustus, devil fish). After birth the calf will drink 50 gallons of milk (190 l) each day. Groups consist of 8 – 10 animals. They are quite large with a full grown size of about 50 feet in length. Whale "vomit" is used in perfumes. They are also known to display a ‘breaching’ behavior—a behavior in which it leaps above the water surface and falls on its back. The gray whale (also known as the grey whale) is a medium-sized whale found mainly in the North Pacific Ocean. Gray whales have lots of barnacles and lice on their skin. The people of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment are truly and deeply driven to inspire on behalf of, to celebrate and connect with, and to care for the natural world we all share. Interesting facts about Gray Whale Calves. That's the longest known migration route of any mammal. 1999. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994. Buckland, S. T., and J. M. Breiwick. Females tend to be a bit larger than the males. APPEARANCE. Unlike blue whales and humpback whales, the gray whales swim across the coastal waters. It is a baleen whale, which (unusually for whales of this type) feeds from the sea bed. The length of the short baleen plates measures around 20 inches (50 cm). The whale is also called ‘the desert whale’ for a simple reason that it goes after the shallow desert lagoons—a behavior unique to gray whale. Raccoon Facts: Anatomy, Diet, Habitat, Behavior, First Horse Starter Kit – Equipment That You Need to Ride, Common Health Issues With Horses To Know The Signs Of, Tasmanian Tiger Facts | Tasmanian Tiger Habitat & Diet, How To Properly Use CBD Products For Your Pets, Why Are Pandas Endangered | Top Four Reasons. Our overarching zoological mission is to foster conservation awareness and to impart action on our park guests to preserve wild animals and wild places. 2008. The Gray Whale migrates between the areas where it breeds and where it feeds throughout the year. Measuring approximately forty-nine feet (Fifteen Meters) in length, and weighing approximately 80,000 pounds (35,000 kilograms), the Gray Whale is a truly magnificent creature. © 2020 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The gray whale is in the sub-order Mysticeti. Gray whales are 1 of 14 different baleen whale species. They are easy to see with their gray color, which is actually more charcoal black than it is gray. Gray Whales differ from other baleen whales. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T8097A12885255.en/. Whales and Dolphins. The Gray whale is a giant of the ocean, mottled light to dark gray in color and encrusted with barnacles and whale lice. It doesn’t breed in open sea. They sometimes appear like a heart-shaped bow under calm waters. Gray Whale Facts. The gray whales’ migration begins in October and ends in January. The pregnant females leave the breeding lagoons in mid-February. Gray Whales (Eschrictius robustus): Eastern North Pacific Stock. The gray whale differs from the other two baleen whale families primarily in its feeding behavior, it is a bottom feeder. Their voices have a frequency of less than 1500 Hz. The gray whale reaches a length of approximately 49 feet. Memo. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, whalers hunted gray whales to the brink of extinction - twice. Gray whales have been protected from commercial whaling by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) since its establishment in 1946. Gray whales stay … By late November, while traveling south for the winter, grays passes through the Unimak Pass, in the Aleutian Islands off the southwest part of Alaska. Hear animal sounds for animals like anteaters, dolphins, frogs and more. The "group" of Gray Whales (Eschrichtius robustus) is represented by a single species. Additional Information about The Gray Whale As a species the gray whale is part of the cetacean family, which is made up of over 80 different species of marine mammals. The clusters of barnacles on a gray whale's skin are as unique as each human's fingerprints. Here the grays go 0.5 km (1,700 ft) offshore. When they surface, you can often see the “mud trail” left behind as they filter the sea water out of their mouths, leaving behind the prey which they swallow. Guide to the Biology and Behavior of Cetaceans. Gray whales undertake one of the world's longest migrations, making a yearly round trip of 15,000-20,000 km. Gray whales are bottom feeders, consuming a wide range of benthic and epibenthic invertebrates. Moms bear calves about every 2-3 years. Gestation period averages 12 months (Sperm whale 17 months). The largest gray whales weigh about 99,000 pounds (45,000 kg)! The gray whale (Eschrichtiidae) family is an endangered species. Stirring up the bottom actually provides food for other animals as well, birds and fish follow feeding gray whales regularly. Males are slightly smaller with the length reaching 43 ft (13 m). The species gets its name from gray patches on its skin, which are scars left by parasites. Their voices are like clangs, pops, and croaks. They travel day and night and each day grays cover a distance as much as 125 kilometers. They can grow to be more than 50 feet long and to weigh more than 36 tons. The series forms a ‘dorsal ridge’. It has two deep grooves on its throat, which enable its mouth to expand when it feeds. Whales prefer one fin over the other, just like humans are right-handed or left-… Rugh, D.J., Muto, M.M., Moore, S.E. Downloaded on 28 September 2018. Gray whales once occupied the North Atlantic and North Pacific basins but the Atlantic populations became extinct by 1700s. While traveling northward, they will continue their journey as they pass through Bering Sea until they make it to the Chukchi Sea.
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