November 26, 2011, 3:31 am
Content Cover Image

Gray whale fluke, San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja, California. @ C.Michael Hogan

Eschrichtiidae is a whale family which contains single living species, the Gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus). Gray whales are large whales, ranging to over 14 meters in length and over 30,000 kilograms in body mass.

Populations of this species were nearly driven to extinction in the early part of this century. Protected from whaling, the eastern Pacific population has made a strong comeback in the north Pacific (along east and west coasts) while Atlantic populations are extinct.

They have a slender body with a low dorsal hump and no dorsal fin. They summer at high latitudes in the Pacific Ocean, migrating during autumn to the west coast of Baja California along the coastal waters of Alaska, British Columbia and California. Pregnant females gather in shallow lagoons to give birth to calves. Gray whales travel singly or in small groups of up to a dozen or so individuals.

See also



Saundry, P., Life, E., & Dee, E. (2011). Eschrichtiidae. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/152665


To add a comment, please Log In.