Gray Whale

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Gray Whale

 

(Eschrichtius gibbosus), a marine mammal of the suborder Odontoceti (toothless whales). Adult gray whales reach a length of 15 m, and newborns about 4.5 m. The whalebone, or plates of baleen, are white and thick and have a coarse fringe; about 180 plates are on each side of the jaw. The dorsal fin is in the form of a low protuberance, behind which are situated several smaller humps. The coloration is gray with numerous light spots, which are scars left by dislodged ectoparasites.

The gray whale inhabits the coastal waters of the northern Pacific Ocean. The Okhotsk-Korea school has been exterminated; the Chukchi-California school winters and reproduces off the coast of California and feeds in the summer in the Chukchi Sea and the Bering Strait. The gray whale feeds predominantly on benthic crustaceans, for example, beach fleas.

After the prohibition of trade in gray whales in 1946, the school increased from several hundred to 11,000 head by 1969. In the USSR, permission to hunt the gray whales is given only to the local Chukchi population.

References in periodicals archive ?
Nineteenth-century ship-based catches of gray whales, Eschrichtius robustus, in the eastern North Pacific," by Randall R.
1996), sea otters, Enhydra lutris (Ames and Morejohn, 1980), and small cetaceans (Long and Jones, 1996), as well as scavenging on gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus, carcasses (Snow, 1976, 1980), demonstrated that this species occurs occasionally in Oregon and Washington waters.
Eschrichtius robustus, they also took sea elephants and "seals" (apparently sea lion) for their oil (Henderson, 1972).
Although some may have been gray whales, Eschrichtius robustus, as implied by Mead and Mitchell (1984), right whales were certainly taken (Table 8).
Right whales, Eubalaena glacialis, and grey whales, Eschrichtius robustus, were sometimes misidentified as bowhead whales, and whaling records maintained during the short period of time this stock was hunted were incomplete (Bockstoce and Botkin, 1983).